The Case Backlog Problem in Kenya's Judiciary and the Solutions

The case backlogs have reduced the effectiveness of the Judicial System making it a serious policy concern. This brief argues that the delayed decision by the president to appoint 41 judges has constrained the effectiveness of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, Environment and Land Court, and Court of Appeal collectively by 71%. Kenya’s bicameral legislature with budget-making powers has to consciously allocate budget resources for the Judiciary which is an arm of government equal to the Executive and Parliament. On the other hand, the Judiciary must apply economic principles in allocating its resources to meet the demands of Kenyans seeking Justice. Presently, the bulk of cases are filed and dispensed with at the Magistrates Court and the High Court. Systemic case backlogs disenfranchise citizens and spontaneously create informal markets for resolution of cases like Wazee’s Baraza’s which don’t apply the Constitution and the law effectively.