KEPSA held the Chief Justice Round Table on 28th June 2018 at Intercontinental Hotel. This is the first Judiciary Round Table with the Private sector this year. The Chief Justice Round Table is one of KEPSA’s highest Public Private Dialogue engagement platforms that is aimed at improving the Commercial Justice process in a manner that ensures efficient resolution of Commercial and Industrial Relations Disputes as well as discuss other ways the Judiciary can facilitate an enabling business environment.
The forum, which was attended by the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya Hon. David Maraga, Lady Justices Hellen Wasilwa and Hedwig Ong’undi and KEPSA members led by the KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki agreed to engage on a regular basis as well as focus on issues that have a persistent trend rather than particular cases in court. A committee of seven people from the private sector that will specifically deal on legal issues with the judiciary was also proposed and formed. The committee will also handle those issues affecting business and country’s economic growth.
Speaking at the Round Table, KEPSA Director in Charge of Judicial and Professional Matters Mr. Isaac Okero mentioned some of the key areas identified during the 8th KEPSA Presidential RoundTable that come in handy in supporting the countries ‘Big Four’ agenda. Among them, is need to operationalize Nairobi International Finance Centre (NIFC) that will help Kenya establish herself as a regional financial hub and avail funds to spur economic growth. The NIFC recognizes the critical role Judiciary plays in its operatiolization especially in Dispute Resolutions. Mr. Okero also echoed the establishment of Business Courts Users Committee which is a plus in ensuring matters of business are well addressed.In his remarks, the Chief Justice clarified the role of judiciary was to serve the nation and all sectors of the nation including business. “The role of judiciary in business is to ensure conducive environment that can spur economic development.” Said Hon. Maraga He also spoke about corruption and said that about 30 per cent of the National Budget was being lost on corruption. He was however positive that corruption cases which are currently before the court would lead to convictions if clear and factual evidence is availed. But in case of no evidence, then such cases would result in acquittal. He added that Judiciary will embark on typing of corruption proceedings as cases go on to ensure availability of clear records for reference and scrutiny, avoid judicial attack and enhance transparency.
The Private Sector was happy to hear that the Judiciary has been benchmarking itself with the best countries such as Singapore in the administration of Justice to reduce case backlog. Hon. Maraga said the next Judiciary Colloquium scheduled in August will focus on case management in order to ensure cases take a maximum of 2 years. KEPSA CEO Ms. Carole Kariuki appreciated the Judiciary for their commitment to have structured engagement and also for realizing the role private sector plays in the development of the economy. She reckoned the importance of partnerships and engagement such as the Judiciary Round Table that have been established in Kenya and many African countries are envying to have. KEPSA will also partner with the Judiciary to enhance technology in the judiciary by automating the court file management system.