Chief Justice David Maraga has officially launched the e-case filing system that will enable Kenyans file cases online. Through the e-filing system, law firms, lawyers, prosecutors and litigants will file cases from the comfort of their offices or homes as court users need not visit the court premises or banking halls.
The filing system had been earlier implemented but faced so many hiccups. The system will solve some of the challenges people have had in accessing justice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All court users will be required to register on the portal https://efiling.court.go.ke, to log on to the system, upload documents and assess the fees to be charged. They will then submit the files to the registry online for the matter to be filed and placed before a judge for a hearing.
Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi while peaking during the launch, said the process faced many challenges including resistance from within and without. Limited resources have also contributed to the slow uptake of e-justice system.
As of today, July 1 2020, about 170 advocates had filed their cases through the system, with the Commercial Division of the High Court registering the highest number.
The Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the Judiciary is properly funded. He further requested that a Bill be put in place to develop a proper framework for e-filing.
Havi said the Bill will shield the digital courts from abuse.”Judges have been subject of abuse through social media and soon doctored judgments might appear in social media,” he said.
Speaking during the launch of e-filing, Havi said all attempts in the past have failed, but Covid-19 has pushed stakeholders to embrace digitisation of courts.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said digitising the court system will enhance transparency and reduce cases of corruption.
Justice Maraga had previously said out of 132 courts, 126 of them have reliable internet while the remaining six are in extremely remote places that do not even have electricity.
Adding on the e-filing system, the Judiciary had previously rolled out a case tracking system (CTS) in 18 court stations across the country.