As it stands now, plans are underway to roll out similar courts throughout the country, starting with Nairobi, with a particular focus on informal settlements, particularly Kasarani and Embakasi.
What does this mean for Kenyans when it comes to matters to do with access to justice? It can only mean one thing: the Judiciary’s commitment to ensuring that all and sundry are able to access court stations regardless of how remote one is. Access to justice which is a basic principle of the rule of law and constitutionalism remains a challenge to many Kenyans notwithstanding the fact that the Constitution Article 48 provides a guarantee of access to justice for all persons. For a while now, many Kenyans have had to battle with several challenges being unable to access courts within their proximity being one of them.
Ideally, a nation cannot boast of constitutionalism if its citizens are denied the chance and opportunity to find the resort in the law. One of the major challenges to access to justice has been the cost of legal representation and inadequate court facilities. Adequate court facilities are key to the rule of law. The creation of these courts is a major step in the full implementation of the provisions of the Constitution, which then will we assure the citizens of the protection of their human rights, doing away with lengthy trials and making sure that perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence are brought to book. While the Judiciary has been criticized for not having been able to dispense off justice expeditiously, it is time we gave credit where it’s due.
*The writer is a law student at the University of Nairobi. He has established himself as a researcher with vast interests in Constitutional law and constitutional affairs, Human Rights law and Public International law. He can be reached via adamsllayton01@kibetbrian09gmail-com