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Justice chain actors collaborate in an effort towards accelerating automation of criminal cases in Kenya

Nairobi (Kenya), 8 February, 2022 – The UNODC through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD) joined the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) during its first Hybrid Conference on Automation of Criminal Cases. 

The high-level event was presided by Chief Justice and Chairperson, National Council on the Administration of Justice, Hon. Chief Justice Martha Koome and Chief Justice of Rwanda, Hon. Justice Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo. Other invited guests included the Ambassador of the European Union to Kenya, Ms. Henriette Geiger, UNODC Regional Representative in Eastern Africa, Mr. Neil Walsh, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Noordin M. Haji, Chair of the Integrated Court Management System (ICMS), Hon. Justice Isaac Lenaola and Dr. Moses Marang’a, the Executive Director - NCAJ, among other key invited dignitaries.

The conference sought to leverage progress, gains, gaps and solutions from legislative, policy and institutional contexts of automating criminal cases in the Kenyan regulatory landscape through a multi-stakeholder approach. In the past, administration of justice has faced challenges in the context of automating criminal justice processes, while protecting existing rights. The conference provided an opportunity for Kenyan justice stakeholders to interact and share information with regional counterparts on best practices of automating criminal cases. 

The Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ) envisages that technology will be applied to improve case management and all aspects of service delivery. The Judiciary Case Management Systems will be enhanced and implemented to automate all the court processes from case registration to conclusion and will be implemented to support the management of court stations.” said Hon. Martha Koome. 

She affirmed that the realization of a common vision of enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice sector hinged on leveraging technology to improve on our service delivery.

Hon. Faustin Ntezilyayo said that any meaningful judicial reform entails leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in justice administration. “In Rwanda like in many other countries, digital technology has been transforming the way government services work. In the case of the justice sector, ICTs not only offer a better way to perform existing practices but also present the potential for creating new practices and fundamentally changing the way justice administration delivers services,” Hon. Ntezilyayo added. 

Judiciary's electronic filing or case tracking system shows that technology-based solutions accounted for almost half of the total measures undertaken by heads of stations and deputy registrars of courts, to sustain access to justice during the COVID-19 pandemic. This underpins the pivotal role of technology in the administration of justice.

Mr. Noordin M. Haji, highlighted that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has a UADILIFU Case Management System in place which is currently integrated with the Judiciary's e-filing system, enabling prosecutors to file court documents directly to the Judiciary, hence, enhancing efficiency. The System is expected to strengthen the criminal justice system and reduce case backlog.

“The EU has agreed to adjust the PLEAD programme to support ICT initiatives in the criminal justice system in Kenya. On behalf of the EU, we congratulate Hon. Martha Koome in her visionary leadership towards improving service delivery in the justice system,” said Hon. Henriette Geiger. 

PLEAD has been supporting criminal justice actors in embracing technology which has been vital in dispensing justice during global calamities such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous support involved the provision of ICT equipment such as laptops and video conferencing equipment to various criminal justice agencies, to enable continuous dispensation of justice and their individual statutory mandates. 

PLEAD aims at enhancing the rule of law as an effective means to address insecurity, conflict, and socio-economic grievances. One of the ways towards improving the administration and processes in the criminal cases is through modernizing the criminal justice system, a reform that is captured in the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III). More criminal justice actors are embedding ICT components in both long-term and short-term strategies. 

“One of PLEAD’s key priority areas is the increase use of ICT for accessing justice. I am proud to say that PLEAD has been at the forefront of supporting criminal justice actors in adopting technology, which has been crucial in administering justice," said, Neil J. Walsh.

Mr. Walsh also added that UNODC is currently working together with partners in the justice chain to assess the gaps and conflicts in the Kenyan regulatory landscape on the automation of criminal cases. This will set the legal and institutional foundation for the full automation of criminal cases through a multi-stakeholder approach.

Various alternative criminal justice actors including the National Police Service have also developed independent electronic systems to enhance service delivery. 

The conference also entailed discussions on the experience of Rwanda on automation of criminal cases and status of automation in the Kenyan justice sector. The sessions attracted diverse experts who presented on multiple status updates of their respective institutions from the Judiciary, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, National Police Service, Law Society of Kenya, Kenya Police Service, Probation and After Care Service, Witness Protection Agency, and Synergy International Systems.

This automation of PLEAD`s criminal cases initiative is operationalised through two components. These are: the provision of legal aid which is spearhead by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Attorney General’s Office; and strengthening the administration of justice and operationalizing alternatives to imprisonment in Kenya which is being steered by the UNODC in collaboration with partner institutions in the justice sector.  


For more information, please contact:

NCAJ –  

European Union –

UN Office on Drugs and Crime –