Two in three court users are satisfied with the services of the courts, reveals a new users’ satisfaction survey.
About 5,000 respondents, including people with cases, lawyers, prosecutors, police and inmates, were involved in the survey carried out by the Judiciary from March-April 2017.
The Kadhi Courts had the highest user satisfaction score, at 69 per cent, followed by the Supreme Court (67 per cent), Court of Appeal and High Court (65 per cent each). The Environment and Land Court was placed fifth with 64 per cent while the Employment and Labour Relations Court was last with 62 percent.
The survey complements the Judiciary performance evaluation report that gauged the performance of courts in the fiscal year 2016/2017 based on case clearance rate, backlog reduction rate and judges’ productivity (number of cases resolved by a judge).
The evaluation found that services improved across the entire Judiciary.
The Kisumu Court of Appeal was the only appellate station court which had an increase in the case backlog. All the other four appeal courts reduced their backlog, with Malindi Court leading with 62 per cent.
The productivity of judges is one of the key measurements of performance. “On average, a High Court judge is meant to rule on at least 10 cases per month. Assuming they work for 11 months, with one for leave, that is a total of 110 cases a year,” says Dr Paul Kimalu, the deputy director at the Judiciary Performance Management Directorate.
Figures from the evaluation indicate that on average each judge in the High Court concluded 311 cases.
“For magistrates, the minimum is 20 cases per month, totalling to 220. The judges surpassed the mark and determined about 672cases,” he says.
Kimalu explains that the high number of suits resolved by judges is due to a large number of backlog cases.
The High Court reduced its backlog by six per cent from 100,872 cases in the financial year 2015/2016 to 94,578 cases the following year.
Over the same period the court had a case clearance rate of 136 per cent, an improvement from 33 per cent. “A court that scores a case clearance rate of above 100 per cent means that they are determining the cases filed in that year as well as those in the backlog,” says Kimalu.
The High Courts were examined in three categories based on caseload. The High Court in Kericho that is in the caseload category of 200 and below, Voi (201-500 cases) and Machakos (above 500 cases) performed best in the fiscal year 2016/2017. The three courts achieved an overall performance grade of ‘very good’, which means they met all set targets.