Bungoma Law Courts has this week been holding a service week to clear pending criminal appeals at the station.
Judges Lydia Achode (High Court Principal Judge), Justus Bwonwonga of Kapenguria High Court and Lilian Mutende from Milimani Law Courts are handling the 150 appeals prepared by the station for determination between September 6 and 10.
On conclusion of the service week, the court will have 34 pending criminal appeals which are, at various stages of processing and that are also being fast-tracked for hearing.
The exercise is in line with the Chief Justice Martha Koome’s vision of clearing appeals real time, within the year they are filed. The CJ posted two more judges to the station – High Court Judge David Kemei and Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Jemimah Keli, to help expedite cases at the station.
Bungoma High Court Presiding Judge Stephen Riechi said that the addition of Justice Kemei to the High Court, will inch the court forward towards attainment of expeditious delivery of justice, and allow the court to clear criminal cases and especially murder cases within one year of filing, which is the world gold standard for determination of criminal cases.
Currently the court has 140 pending murder cases, 193 pending succession cases at different stages of disposal, 44 civil cases and 492 civil appeals. The Judge noted that the large number of Civil Appeals is as a result of parties filing appeals and not taking any steps to prosecute them. He added the court has taken steps to dismiss some 300 appeals, where parties have shown no interest in prosecuting their civil appeals, within the last two years.