Kenya mulls new judicial conduct code to boost access to justice

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Kenya is considering implementing a new code of judicial conduct and ethics in order to boost access to justice, a senior government official said on Monday.

Chief Justice David Maraga told journalists in Nairobi that once fully implemented, the code will ensure accelerated judicial services to Kenyans.

“The judicial code of conduct and ethics is awaiting approval by the National Assembly and has been prioritized by all arms of government,” Maraga said.

He said that the code will help Kenya clear backlogs of cases before the courts, enhance service delivery by leveraging on technology, embrace on alternative forms of justice, and entrench ethic and integrity in the judicial institutions.

He revealed that the code will require judicial officers to maintain independence, impartiality, professionalism and objectivity in the discharge of their duties.

Maraga observed that in order to promote justice, judicial officers will not be allowed to hear a case in which they have an interest or are reasonably perceived to be partial.

“In those kind of circumstances, judges and magistrates will be expected to recuse themselves, but recusal cannot be used as an excuse for avoiding your judicial duties,” he added.

Maraga, who is also the president of Supreme Court of Kenya, said that in the cases of criminal cases, the judiciary plans to fully implement bond and sentence policies.

“The reason why the bond regulations were developed is because of great disparities which gave the impression of corruption or incompetence. The bond terms and severity of sentence should be commensurate with the offense,” he added. Enditem

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