President William Ruto has said it is time the criminal justice system reforms were enhanced in the country.
He said this will help catch up with best practices and respond to the “common sense of basic fairness”.
Delays in cases, he regretted, are more prejudicial than the eventual penalty on conviction.
“The prejudice is compounded where the accused turns out to be not guilty. Custodial sentencing should not be default conviction especially where petty crime is involved,” he said.
He was speaking on Monday during the launch of the inaugural annual report on the administration of justice 2021/2022 at Safari Park, Nairobi.
The President explained that the use of technology, alternative resolution, diversion and alternatives to prosecution could help achieve justice without burdening the criminal justice system.
Even with the prevailing budgetary challenges, he pledged that the Government will mobilise sufficient resources to facilitate access to justice.
He commended the National Council on the Administration of Justice for its emphasis on the enhancement of access to justice by vulnerable groups.
Present were Chief Justice Martha Koome, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, EU Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger, Danish Ambassador to Kenya Ole Thonke, among others.
Ms Koome said different arms of Government must endeavor to cooperate for public good.
“The Judiciary, Execute and the Legislature are inevitably interdependent; they must work together because they serve the same people,” she said.
Mr Muturi lauded the ongoing transformation in the country’s justice system.
“The Judicary that I served long time ago was one that left the administration of justice to one’s maker,” he observed.
On his part, Mr Haji said the country’s justice system was leveraging on technology to improve service delivery.