Practice Notes 2008

Expeditious Disposal of Cases - 2008 Made On: Mon, September 1st 2008

Gazette Notice No. 8167 of 2008
CONSTITUTION OF KENYA
THE JUDICATURE ACT
(Cap 8)

On September 1, 2008, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 10 of the Judicature Act and pursuant to recommendations by the Expeditious Disposal of Cases Committee of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice made the following Practice Directions:

  1. All courts are encouraged to permit the filing and exchange by the parties of written submissions to supplement or replace oral arguments.
  2. All courts are encouraged to require that lists of authorities sought to be relied upon by a party be filed and served three clear days before the hearing and that the same be paginated and highlighted as necessary.
  3. All courts are encouraged to mention cases at least once before the hearing date for purposes of an order for directions as to any steps to be taken before the hearing of the case.
  4. All courts are encouraged to hold a mini call-over of the cases on the Daily Cause-list for purposes of ascertaining their respective readiness for hearing and allocating time for the hearing.
  5. All courts are encouraged to hold prison visits for the following purposes:

    1. Mention of pending cases, as necessary;
    2. Establishing cases requiring orders of revision;
    3. Identification of cases of non-production of accused persons in court;
    4. Harmonization of backlog statistics;
    5. Ascertain the welfare of the remandees and prisoners;
    6. Perform all other relevant duties required of Prison Visiting Justices.
  6. The High Court is encouraged to set aside a Revision Day at least once a month for purposes of examination of cases concluded by the subordinate courts which would warrant orders of revision under section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code chapter 75 of the Laws of Kenya.
  7. All courts are encouraged ?

    1. to observe timely delivery of judgments by setting definite dates for delivery;
    2. to avoid, as far as possible, judgment on notice and indefinite adjournment of cases;
    3. to require daily synchronization of the Court diaries to enable individual court to give dates in court.

  8. All courts are encouraged to list for hearing only such number of cases that the Court can reasonably hear and determine that day, and as much as possible whose witness for the parties are certified ready and available.
  9. All courts are encouraged to undertake preliminary inquiry into the period of detention in police custody of an accused before plea in criminal cases to determine the legality of pre-trial detention.
  10. All courts encouraged to require that a statement of agreed issues for determination in a suit be framed and filed before fixing the case for hearing in accordance with Order 14 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
  11. All courts are encouraged to facilitate continuous typing of proceedings after every court session instead of waiting for conclusion of the trial, to enable easy take-over between Judicial Officers.
  12. All courts are encouraged to permit the parties in suits to exchange summaries of the case, and evidence to be adduced by each and written opening statement.
  13. All courts are encouraged to cap the time allowed for the hearing of cases in accordance with Order 17 Rule 2 (4) of the Civil Procedure Rules. For example, the Court may set time for the hearing of ex-parte applications at 10 minutes; inter-partes applications at 20 minutes and full hearing of suits at an hour per case, depending on the complexity of the issues for determination.
  14. The High Court is encouraged to fast-track all deserving cases including:

    1. All cases that have been pending for over three years;
    2. All criminal cases;
    3. All cases where the parties are unrepresented by counsel; and
    4. all cases involving children rights.

  15. All courts are encouraged to ensure strict compliance with Order 48 Rule 5 of the Civil Procedure Rules which provides for the hearing of certain matters by the Registrar of the High Court.
  16. All courts are required to generally exercise discretion in favour of expeditious disposal of cases pending before them.

Made on the 1st Day of September, 2008.

J. E. GICHERU,
Chief Justice.