CJ Koome: Judiciary to Establish Hate Speech Courts, Train Magistrates Ahead of Elections

April 5, 2022

Chief Justice Martha Koome has announced the steps that the Judiciary is taking in preparedness for the General Election in August.

CJ Koome on Monday said the Judiciary intends to train magistrates on electoral preparedness in a bid to ensure electoral justice is served on any disputes arising during the polls.

She said 120 special courts had already been gazetted to handle election-related disputes countrywide.

“We will soon also ask for a training to be mounted for 120 special courts that we gazetted in the judiciary to deal with the electoral offenses because we must continue to read from one script,” said the CJ.

“When a prosecutor is empowered knowing all the ropes in the electoral law it doesn’t make sense if they are appearing before a magistrate who has no clue about what a kims kit or an electoral offense is. We must move in tandem.”

The CJ assured that the Judiciary is committed to building trust in the judicial system among Kenyans through upholding justice.

“No one is above the law, whoever commits an offense will be dealt with firmly and with fairness and justice. There is a magistrate ready to hear whenever an offence happens anywhere across the country and they know it should be given priority,” she said.

Koome at the same time said she has directed magistrates handling hate speech matters under the National Cohesion and Integration (NCI) Act to finalize all pending hate speech matters by June.

“We are also working on a plan to operationalize hate speech courts in hotspot areas to ensure that they are ready all the time to hear all these matters,” she added.

CJ Koome was speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions’s (ODPP) Compendium on Electoral Justice at the Kenya School of Government.

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