The National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) marks its ninth anniversary today.
Following the promulgation of the 2010 Constitutional dispensation; recognizing that we derive judicial authority from the people of the Republic of Kenya; and binding ourselves to the realization of national values and principles of governance , while at the same time taking cognizance that the justice system is chain-linked in the service of the people of Kenya, it was seen as vital to establish a multi-agency body to address the responsive and precautionary needs and distress calls that came from our people.
Nine years ago, in 2011, this envisioned multi-agency body was created, anchored under the Judicial Service Act, No. 1 of 2011.
The NCAJ was established as a high level, policy- making, implementation and oversight coordinating mechanism, tasked to ensure a coordinated, efficient, effective and consultative approach in the administration of justice, response to issues raised and reform of the justice system for the benefit of Wananchi – in full realization that the mandate potential, capacity and discharge of each actor in the justice system is connected, intertwined and dependent on the other, with the intention to depart from the silo approaches of the past and to inculcate collective responsibility and mutual accountability amongst actors in the justice system.
So anchored, the NCAJ provides a platform for consultative discourse among actors in and users of the justice sector in: addressing matters including opportunities, strengths, problems and challenges within the sector, coordinating responses to and resolutions of these; considering improvements in the operations and performance of the sector; coordinating functions of all agencies within the justice system and improve their interaction; and promote accountability by the said agencies and stakeholders.
Membership of the NCAJ is characteristic of both State and non-state agencies involved in administration of justice and continues to grow with the growth of the sector and the needs that arise. The heads of these agencies or their representative, (appointed in writing), comprise the Council members.
In a bid to address the problems that plague and continue to undermine the Kenya’s justice sector realization of justice for all, and in acknowledging that public participation, stakeholder engagement, awareness creation and sensitization of the public, and effective justice sector partnerships are essential to the administration of justice, and hence democratic governance, the NCAJ carries out its activities through targeted Committees that work with the people on the ground to find solutions to their problems which in turn result in reform of the entire system on a national level.