Kenya has embarked on a major transformation of its judicial system to improve key functions to promote better administration of justice and delivery of quality legal services to court users.
“Kenya’s new constitution has created a window of opportunity for the judiciary to address the problems that have for many years frustrated the delivery of justice, especially to the poor,” says Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “Through this project, the World Bank will support the government to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to deliver justice in an effective and efficient manner”. The project comes at a time of growing public confidence in the judiciary, following recent major institutional and managerial changes pursuant to the new constitution, which Kenyans overwhelmingly voted for in a referendum in August 2010.
Through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project, the Judiciary will improve court administration and case management, including automating the courts and clearing a backlog of court cases, training of its judicial officers, and improving court infrastructure by constructing new courts and rehabilitating existing ones. These activities are reflected in the Judiciary’s Transformation Framework 2012-2016.
“In approving the project, the World Bank’s Board of Directors indicated its belief that there is a real opportunity to undertake judicial reforms in Kenya. Since this is the first stand-alone and largest project to the judiciary in Africa, its success will be a model for other countries in the region. The challenge is to scale up the important legal and institutional reforms that have already been initiated to deliver quality and timely judicial services to the public. The project will need to improve the rule of law and the climate for doing business in Kenya,” says Nightingale Rukuba-Ngaiza and George Larbi, Task Team Leaders of the project.
The project is financed by the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)* under its standard terms, which include a term of 40 years with a grace period of 10 years.