Guidelines to empower Court Users’ Committees and streamline justice delivery in Kenya
16th September 2019
Collective effort the solution to ease common justice sector challenges
23rd January 2020

CUC initiatives towards Improving court services

September 2019

Creative innovations and ideas by Court Users Committee (CUC’s) have contributed immensely towards promoting accountability and improvement of court performances. CUCs have also strengthened and improved links with other actors in the justice sector.

Thinking out-side the box but within the legal requirements, has enabled CUC’s to be innovative in ensuring that the courts are operational optimally. The impact of the different innovating ideas has made courts to be more efficiency in the administration of justice, providing better services, professionalism and accountability.

The guidelines are practical and set out the core values, objectives, functions, membership, financing, performance indicators and monitoring and evaluation requirements for CUCs. “In seeking to transform our justice system, we must leave silo approaches behind and enable collective responsibility and mutual accountability among and between actors in the justice system, and this is made possible through CUCs,” the Acting NCAJ Executive Director, Mr Conrad Bosire, said. “We must equip and empower CUCs to achieve their objectives, including improving access to justice for children, women and persons with disabilities, and promoting dialogue among stakeholders and court users,” he said. The guidelines were published with support from the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD).

The guidelines are available on the NCAJ website here. Section 35 of the Judicial Service Act No.1 of 2011 institutionalizes CUCs by providing for the establishment of the NCAJ to ensure a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice and the transformation of the justice system.The NCAJ is tasked with the establishment and operationalization of CUCs at the County Level, Court Stations, Tribunals and other specialized Courts.

To this end, the World Bank through the Judicial Performance Improvement Project (JPIP) supported 105 Court Users Committees with a small grant of Ksh42million. The grant, shared amongst the CUC’s saw numerous innovative and creative ideas being implemented. Focused at enhancing service delivery and improving efficiency in the dispensation of justice, the activities ranged from the procurement and installation of Solar Panels; computers and photocopiers; installation of Water Tanks; facilitation of Witness Expenses and Statements; construction of child friendly witness boxes; construction of separate holding cells for female and juveniles; waiting bays; upgraded court rooms and chambers.

The Court Users Committee is a forum that brings together actors in the administration of justice, users in the justice system to address problems in the sector. CUCs fall within the umbrella of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) established under section 34 of the Judicial Service Act, is mandated to ensure a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice and reform of the justice system. One of the key strategic objectives is to operationalize Court User Committees (CUCs).

The guidelines are practical and set out the core values, objectives, functions, membership, financing, performance indicators and monitoring and evaluation requirements for CUCs. “In seeking to transform our justice system, we must leave silo approaches behind and enable collective responsibility and mutual accountability among and between actors in the justice system, and this is made possible through CUCs,” the Acting NCAJ Executive Director, Mr Conrad Bosire, said. “We must equip and empower CUCs to achieve their objectives, including improving access to justice for children, women and persons with disabilities, and promoting dialogue among stakeholders and court users,” he said. The guidelines were published with support from the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD).

Click here to download the CUC guidelines. Section 35 of the Judicial Service Act No.1 of 2011 institutionalizes CUCs by providing for the establishment of the NCAJ to ensure a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice and the transformation of the justice system.The NCAJ is tasked with the establishment and operationalization of CUCs at the County Level, Court Stations, Tribunals and other specialized Courts.