PRINCIPAL Judge of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), Justice Yohane Masara, together with the EACJ Deputy Registrar, Christine Mutimura, have received a delegation from the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) in Kenya led by Justice Daniel Musinga, the President of the Court of Appeal of Kenya.
Justice Musinga, who is also the Vice Chair of the JCE, said that the purpose of their visit is to learn from the EACJ valuable lessons given its extensive experience in virtual sessions with a focus on recording and transcribing court proceedings.
Justice Musinga said that the JCE is set to assist the Judiciary prepare for and discharge its mandate on election dispute resolutions, adding that the committee draws its membership from different levels of the judiciary including judges, magistrates and other judicial officers.
Welcoming the delegation, EACJ Principal Judge Justice Masara said that it was an honour that the EACJ’s automation of its processes continues to inspire judiciaries from the region to do the same and even better.
Justice Masara said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the EACJ was the first court in the region to go online, allowing the Court to undertake its mandate successfully when most institutions struggled to provide their services during lockdown.
Justice Masara, however, informed the JCE delegation that although the Court is not a fully-fledged e-court, it currently operates a hybrid model for its sessions whereby judges sit physically in court while lawyers can choose to appear virtually or in person, adding that this has greatly facilitated access to and dispensation of justice in the region.
The JCE also updated the EACJ on the ongoing automation processes that are currently transforming Kenya’s judiciary into a fully-fledged e-Court.
Justice Musinga said that the automation initiatives piloted in some of the courts in Kenya have made the Kenyan courts become more efficient, cost effective and accountable, in addition to ensuring that judicial processes are streamlined.