Court Users’ Committees

Court Users Committees (CUCs) provide a platform for actors in the justice sector at the local or regional level, to consider improvements in the operations of the courts, coordinate functions of all agencies within the justice system and improve the interaction of these stakeholders.

Court User Committees are the optimal site for citizen service delivery and justice sector institutional transformation. They support the function of the justice in the stations, facilitate the functions of the NCAJ and in turn ensures a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice, providing an avenue to address matters in the administration of justice while enhancing public participation and stakeholder engagement; developing public understanding of court operations; promoting effective justice sector partnerships and advancing the application of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms

Section 35 of the Judicial Service Act No.1 of 2011 institutionalizes Court Users Committees (herein referenced as CUCs )by providing for the establishment of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) to ensure a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice and the transformation of the justice system.

CUCs are established in:

  • The High Court Station
  • The Magistrate Court Station
  • Special Courts and Tribunals;
  • Special Courts and Tribunals will include: The County level and at each Court Station within the County
  • Membership
  • Functions & Scope
  • Challenge Areas
  • Resources

Membership of CUCs include:

  • The membership of the CUC reflects that of the NCAJ however a CUC is at liberty to invite members on an ad hoc or permanent basis according to its needs
  • The membership of CUCs is therefore highly variegated however certain institutions like Probation, Police, Prisons, Judiciary, LSK, Provincial Administration (District Officials- Chiefs), Children’s Officers are constant features

Functions

  • Hold fact-finding missions to penal facilities and places of custody including prisons, remand homes, borstal institutions, rehabilitation schools, psychiatric hospitals, probation hostels and any place of detention including hospitals
  • Produce reports on any CUC events and visits held
  • Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution in accordance with the provisions of Article 159 of the Constitution
  • Establish peer review mechanisms
  • Promote crime prevention initiatives
  • Organize CUC outreach and sensitization events

Scope

  • To ensure an accountable, coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the delivery of justice
  • To improve access to justice and the quality of service delivery by all actors in the justice system
  • To enhance public participation and engagement in the delivery of justice
  • To promote information sharing and learning among stakeholders
  • To strengthen feedback mechanisms and promote dialogue among stakeholders and court users.
  • To propose policies and legislation for implementation by the NCAJ for effective delivery of justice
  • To carry out all functions that are incidental to the operations of the CUCs
  • Case backlog
  • Limited access to information and feedback mechanisms for litigants and the public
  • Negative public perception of the justice system
  • Lack of coordination and communication in the justice sector
  • Filling of professional forms, DNA, police abstract and age assessment forms
  • Shoddy investigations
  • Inadequate court cells and police cells facilities
  • Prisoners transportation and security
  • Lack of holding cells for children and women
  • Unavailability of designated medical officers and other expert witnesses

Court Users’ Committee Guidelines

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CUCs Small Grant Programme