Judiciary Services Launched in Huduma Centres

The Judiciary has launched services at six pilot Huduma Centres in Nairobi, marking a significant partnership between the two entities. The collaboration aims to extend judicial services to citizens through easily accessible locations, addressing concerns about digital exclusion and enhancing access to justice.

Quick Summary

  • Pilot Locations: The pilot phase of the initiative is rolled out in six Huduma Centres: Nairobi GPO, City Square, Makadara, Kibra, Eastleigh, and Kiambu.
  • Nationwide Expansion: The plan includes extending judicial services to all 58 Huduma Centres across the country, followed by deployment to Huduma Jitume Centres in the 290 constituencies.
  • Exclusive Judiciary Personnel: Desks at Huduma Centres offering judiciary services will be staffed exclusively by personnel from the Judiciary, ensuring expertise in legal matters.
  • Services Offered: The range of services provided includes filing new civil cases, submitting documents for existing cases, issuing summons, notices in divorce cases, court orders, decrees, certified and uncertified proceedings, copy of rulings/judgements, mention dates, general case inquiries, e-filing support, payments of fines and deposits, and virtual court support.

Addressing Digital Exclusion

The move to incorporate judiciary services into Huduma Centres is positioned as a strategic step to combat digital exclusion. As Kenyan courts transition to online platforms with e-filing and virtual courts, establishing Huduma desks at accessible locations is deemed crucial to expanding and deepening access to court services, particularly for the unrepresented and economically disadvantaged citizens.

Mitigating Concerns

While the legal fraternity had initially expressed concerns about potential risks and interference with the independence of the judiciary, the announcement that judicial staff will exclusively manage the desks may help allay those fears. The decision to have trained and qualified personnel from the Judiciary ensures the delivery of accurate and reliable legal services.

Advocacy for Funding

Some members of the legal community had suggested that the government should focus on funding the judiciary directly, enabling the construction of more courts and the employment of officers in all constituencies. The ongoing dialogue between the legal fraternity, the government, and the Judiciary reflects a shared commitment to improving access to justice while addressing the concerns raised by stakeholders.

Final Thoughts

The launch of judiciary services in Huduma Centres marks a significant step towards making legal services more accessible to the general public. The collaboration between the Judiciary and Huduma Secretariat is expected to bridge gaps in accessing justice and ensure that legal services are within reach for all citizens, fostering a more inclusive and responsive legal system in Kenya.

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