The 2014-2018 Strategic Plan for the Judiciary is the culmination of a concerted aand collaborative multi-stakeholder and multi-phase effort. Our previous Strategic Plan ran from 2009 to 2012, and acted as our “bridge” between the old and the newq Constitution. Many of the lessons, challenges and experiences from this plan were usefully taken forward into our current work-Chief Registrar Anne Amadi
WOMEN have always been an epitome of beauty, strength and intelligence.
Today, the success of Kenyan women across various walks of life has proven that they have earned this reputation very deservingly.
If you look deeper, you will realise that one major contributors to the Kenyan Society have been the active participation of some very focussed and dedicated women.
Women have and continue to play significant roles in changing many social evils and have been a shinning beacon of hope.
Several researches have also shown that women who achieve most are also women who define success in their own terms and their results reflect their passions.
Some of these women, have displayed exemplary devotion in their respective fields and clearly deserve a standing ovation.
Ms. Anne Atieno Amadi, the country’s chief registrar, is one of top women achievers. She is one of those leaders who have built on their leadership strengths of collaboration, inclusion and consultation.
She is at the center of ongoing successful judicial reforms that she has and continues to spearhead, it goes without saying, that women make a difference-not just a small difference but a big and critical one.
The JSC has since extended the term of Chief Registrar Anne Amadi for another five years. Ms Amadi’s current tenure was to end in October 2018 but the new contract means she will be in office until October 2023.
Hon. Amadi is a perfect role model…
Her achievements make her an incredible role model and serves as an inspiration across countries regions. She fits rightly In the category of eminent women who have broken glass ceilings, pushed the frontiers of women’s leadership.
From her stance and area of influence, Amadi has shown that when a woman’s voice is heard, when she participates in decision making and when she exercises leadership, she most likely brings something unique, special and of high value and quality to key decisions and its impact on a transformed Judiciary.
Success reflects one’s passion…
Her leadership and accomplishments are an inspiration to many…..Successful people don’t typically become successful because they dough their way to the top on their own, or because they crushed all their competitors into dust along the way.
Many successful people value passion and optimism in their work and prefer to be surrounded with a team that values similar traits.
While being competitive a d having a drive to succeed are certainly factors that have influenced her various successes, having the right attitude towards one’s work can influence one’s success as well
About the chief registrar
Anne Atieno Amadi, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya, holds a Masters in Criminal Justice from Boston University, USA, a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law.
She holds two other Post Graduate Diplomas, one in Alternative Dispute Resolution from California State University and another in Law of Internal Displacement from the Institute of International Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy
She joined the judicial service as a District Magistrate II (Prof.) in 1990 and rose through the ranks to become a Resident Magistrate before joining private legal practice as Sole proprietor at A. A. Amadi & Co. Advocates between 1997 and 2003. She practiced law privately in Mombasa after serving as a magistrate in the Judiciary for six years -from 1991 and 1997.
Mrs Amadi served at Federation of Women Lawyers – Kenya (FIDA) as Deputy Executive Director between 2003 and 2008 and as the National Coordinator of National Legal Aid and Awareness Programme (NALEAP), Ministry of Justice National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, between 2008 and 2011. Until her appointment as the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, she was working as a Consultant
Ms. Amadi’s missioni…
Her mission-to help create a judiciary that administers the law fairly, firmly and impartially and to spearhead sweeping reforms which will transform the Judiciary into a world class public institution.
She took over office at a time when the judiciary was designed to fail. As former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga would put it then (2011) “We found an institution so frail in its structures ; so thin on resources; so low on its confidence; so deficient in integrity,; so weak in its public support that to have expected it to deliver justice was to be wildly optimistic,”
It has not been an easy task, the agenda to transform the judiciary and move it away from the market place of the political and private transactions.
Alhough her achievements are enviable, it has been one long journey that has seen her remain steadfast in achieving her mission via the very office she represents.
“I am no stranger to the Judiciary having served as a magistrate for seven years 0and thereafter having performed roles that entailed active interactions with this institution at different levels. I have confidence that with other partners in the justice chain we shall transform it into a world class institution,” she pledged, back in 2014.
Amadi’s 2014 appointment, coincided with the relaunch of the second phase of the judiciary transformation…
She vowed to jealously guard the independence of the judiciary as set out by the constitution.
Forging a dynamic and principled relationship with judicial staff, judges, magistrates and other stakeholders in the Judiciary chain marked the beginning of her journey to success.
Alongside Mutunga, Amadi understood only too well, that taming corruption in the Judiciary was a no compromise mission.
Today, true to her mission and objectives, Kenya’s judicial reforms have led to some concrete, measurable successes
“The judiciary is an institution that must become a beacon for justice., incorruptibility and independence,”-CCW
When she took over office in 2014, her priorities, were, among other critical issues, operationalisation of the Judiciary Fund, modernizing the court’s registry and ensuring that resources are equitably distributed in the Judiciary.
To undertake these massive changes to transform the judiciary, a plan was put in place, under the banner “Transformaton Framework, in May 2012, Coeur of former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga.
That plan identified four pillars: , which identified four pillars of reform: “people-centered” delivery of justice; improving organizational culture and professionalism; ensuring adequate infrastructure and resources; and making better use of information technology.
Harnessing Technology as an enabler of Justice..
ICT has enormous potential to improve the administration of justice as a cross-cutting imperative for the pillars of transformation.
Kenyalaw.org is where legal information is public knowledge.
The launch of the Kenyalaw.org in 2014, was testament to the innovatinveness and creativity of the juidiciary.
Their could be not a better example in the Publix Service of how in for,action can be harnessed to ensure maximum benefit to the most number of people.
The National Council for law reporting revamped and optimized the website in order to ensure ease and navigalibility of the website while at the same time ensuring an informative experienxe for its users.
That, together with the us so simple language means that information that is contained in the website is both accessible and most importantly, understandable….a layman’s language if you may.
And today, case law and judgements, county laws, the online edition of the Kenya Gazzette, Laws of Kenya, East African Legislation, Treaties (that kenya has ratified) research publications…these are so e of the resources to be found today on the acouncil’s website.
“The Council recognizes the importance of providing a website that is accessible to the largest possible audience. As such, every effort has been made to ensure that all users, including those wuthdisabilities, can use the site easily. The Council has also developed various applications, in partnership with several parties, that ensure that theinfor,ation is accessible via smart phones,”-Amadi
The FOUR pillars of Reforms in the Judiciary
The first pillar, which focused on ensuring access to justice and public engagement, included such actions as establishing customer care desks to answer questions, simplifying court procedures, creating a case management system, and strengthening complaint mechanisms.
The second pillar focused on changing the judiciary’s institutional culture, increasing training, and clarifying individuals’ responsibilities. The third and fourth pillars sought to expand the court system, to computerize its procedures, and to upgrade its IT infrastructure.
“The judiciary has developed a culture of unaccountability, distance, hierarchy… sometimes driven by a self-serving invocation of the principle of independence. A lot has changed… and for the better,”-CCW.
Under her watch, and under the transformation framework plan, immense tasks continue to be undertaken and has seen streamlined court procedures and clearer processes for litigants trying to navigate the system.
Basic physical organization of the case files became a priority — they were often difficult to locate, and that made it easy for unscrupulous staff members to remove important documents or hide whole files.
We are seeing better monitoring and information sharing practises. We are seeing more integrated existing mechanisms.
Court Users Committees, which brought together judges, police, civil society organizations, and community leaders to share information and solve problems, had existed at many courts since 2006, but were dormant.
Today, the transformation agenda has made the committees, an official part of the justice system
Being at the centre of ongoing successful reforms so far, in terms of mechanisms, policies or initiatives, Amadi understands that greater public is essential to making reforms work.
The year 2015/2016 report, marked yet another milestone for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as it endeavoured to fulfil the mandate of promoting and facilitating the independence and accountability of the judiciary and the effective and transparent administration of justice.
Ms.Amadi is leading the war against graft in the judiciary.
The EACC is investigating the judiciary over the alleged sh.36 million loss, putting the chief registrar on the spot
She has since welcomed investigations as directed by the DPP
At the center of investigations is among others, a contract of Sh648,297,521 for the provision of medical insurance awarded to Jubilee Insurance and a separate tender for the provision of security.
According to the DPP, the contracts were renewed without following procurement procedures and regulations.
Amadi raised the red flag and took the first step to have internal audit carried out.
She has stated categorically that she commissioned the internal audits, with full backing of the Chief Justice.
“I welcome the investigations because I commissioned the audits internally. I am happy the investigations are happening and if there is any culpability, action should be taken,” Amadi said in a press statement days ago.
She said that the reports of the audit directorate, working with utmost independence and with the direct backing of Maraga, has seen four staff interdicted and six others severely reprimanded.
“Indeed a total 30 Judiciary staff are currently before various courts answering to various charges of economic crimes,” she said.
Amadi swung into action, immediately after receiving the report on revenue management at the Milimani Law courts and invited the DCI to investigate.
“We wish to state that the Judiciary welcomes the ODPP’s call for speedy investigations as described in his statement since this falls within our strict policy of zero tolerance to financial misconduct of any nature,” said Amadi, who is the chief executive and accounting officer of the Judiciary.
After taking office, high level administrative corruption which drew attention to the persistence of graft throughout the judiciary, was a top priority in the ambitious reform program
Under her watch, streamlined procedures have helped to clear the massive backlog of cases, which for instance, stood at 311,800 as of 2014, from estimates of nearly a million only three years earlier.
But, while public perception of the courts improved significantly in the early years of the reform effort, with Gallup citing that 61 percent of Kenyans had confidence in the judiciary in 2013, as compared to 27 percent in 2009,
and even though the gains eroded over time, with reports indicating that the number of Kenyans expressing alot of confidence in the supreme court, possibly reflecting high profile controversies over corruption and the presidential election decision, the gains are massive, and there are clear signs that the focus on cultural change has and continues to pay dividends.
“We are more conscious of the fact that judicial authority derives from the people.” says Amadi.
I (this writer), have learnt alot from this amazing woman, who is also my friend, the attitude you want to cultivate is committment, like positivity, taking pride in your work and having confidence in your team. loyalty is about doing your best and challenging yourself for the betterment of the institution one represents.
All said and done, Transformation remains her core objective. A transformed Judiciary is a necessary pre condition for a transformed Kenya. And she says to you ‘It is to all of us that the hand of history that seeks to lay the strong foundation for a modern progressive and strong judiciary,”…
Kudos to former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga…
The credit for much of the progress made go to former chief justice Wily Mutunga.’s commitment to the values of the constitution., particularly integrity, social justice, participation and scholarship- and the willingness to learn from other countries are to a large extent responsible for the positive changes in the judicial system. The many initiatives he took to improve standards of judgements, relationship with the poor have immeasurably raised the reputation and respect for the judiciary.
…and his successor…
Chief Justice David Maraga has since launched his Strategic Blueprint in January,2017, titled Sustaining Judiciary Transformation: A New Service Delivery Agenda. The CJ’s blueprint is centered on six key areas: improving access to justice, handling corruption in and out of the Judiciary, improving ICT, reducing cases backlogs, digitization, and leadership and governance
The parting shot are excerpts of the blueprint, presented by Chief justice David Maraga on the next phase of transformation, and especially focusing on “quality service delivery” for the people of Keny, dubbed: ‘A NEW DEAL FROM THE JUDICIARY’ …
The shift towards quality service delivery will be achieved through a series of interventions, including: (a) Automation, Digitization and Improvement of work methods (b) Operationalizationof development systems (c) Enhancing individual accountability (d) Enhancing institution
accountability (e) Entrenching performance measurement and monitoring and evaluation (f).entrenching policies and manuals already developed,
It is important to reiterate that the independence of the Judiciary as an institution will remain sacrosanct as constitutionally proclaimed, as well as the decisional independence of judges and judicial officers. The Judiciary will engage in constructive dialogue with other arms of government and other stakeholders without compromising on its institutional independence,
The Judiciary will continue supporting devolution in a number of ways including the establishment of High Court stations by December 2018 in the few remaining counties,
even as the Sustaining Judiciary Transformation (SJT): SJT builds on the progress the Judiciary has made over the years in its quest for reforms it, however, represents a New Deal for Kenyan people, focussing on enhancing service delivery through targeted improvement of work methods and a dynamic corporate culture that emphasises integrity, individual and institutional accountability, and measureable performance standards.
My commitment for enhanced service delivery by the Judiciary is at the core of the Strategic Blueprint (2017/2018-Hon David K. Maraga, EGH
CHIEF JUSTICE / PRESIDENT, SUPREME COURT OF KENYA.
..and this is the part i (this writer) say, have a good one!