The Kenyan Chief Justice, David Maraga recently put a stop to manual case system, launching an e-portal for all the judicial filings. The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Courts have since gone digital.
The e-filing system that promises to render cases of misplaced and missing files a thing of the past at the Supreme Court has been in use for a while, albeit amid challenges, but has gotten accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides filing, the system also allows for litigants to assess costs, pay, and serve court papers in defendants electronically.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Noordin Haji, noted that digitising the court system will enhance transparency and reduce cases of corruption.
Through the e-filing system, law firms, lawyers, prosecutors, and litigants will file cases from the comfort of their offices or homes as court users need not visit the court premises or banking halls. All court users will now be required to register themselves through a portal, https://efiling.court.go.ke, to log on to the system, upload documents, and assess the fees to be charged.
The files will be submitted to the registry online to be filed and placed before a judge for a hearing.
Speaking during the launch, Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi said the process faced many challenges including resistance from within and without. Limited resources, she said, also contributed to the slow uptake of the e-justice system.
As of July 1, about 170 advocates had filed their cases through the system, with the Commercial Division of the High Court registering the highest number.
Other than E-filing, the Judiciary had previously rolled out a case tracking system (CTS) in 18 court stations.
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