EFFECTS OF REFORMS IN THE JUDICIARY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SECRETARIES: CASE STUDY OF NAKURU LAW COURTS
A PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO THE KENYA NATIONAL EXAMINATION COUNCIL IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF HIGHER DIPLOMA IN SECRETARIAL MANAGEMENT
This chapter covers the following areas in relation to the effects of reform on the performance of secretarial staff in the Judiciary. 1.1
Reforms have been taking place in judicial systems around the world for centuries. According to Hodgson (1979), the English Model on which our judicial system is based, has evolved from 12th century when the courts were presided over by the King himself. Since then, the judicial system in England has gained independence from the Monarchy and the Government. From the inception of the colonial Kenyan State in 1895 to date, the public has been skeptical of the Judiciary. This is because the system of justice segregated and marginalized the indigenous people to native African tribunals presided over by village headmen and the courts were manned by expatriates judges and magistrates. This dual system was abolished and merged into modern court systems but marginalization of indigenous judicial systems remained unaddressed until the promulgation of the new constitution in 2012 (JSF 2012-2016). The Nakuru Law Courts began during the African Ordinance of 1902 when there was a major reorganization throughout the court system where courts moved away from the Native African Courts systems which were headed by village headmen. During the emergency in 1952, many courts had been streamlined and by 1960s, in a bid to end racial discrimination, there were reforms where courts were to be closely linked to the police and were to be headed by magistrates. The current Nakuru Law Courts were built in 1961 and were officially opened by the then Chief Justice. In view of this and many factors, there have many attempts at reforming the Judiciary and the most recent was started 29th May 2009 following the appointment of the Final Task Force on Judicial Reforms. The major intention was to recommend among other things, the expansion of the functions and independence of the Judicial Service Commission. The Judicial Service Commission has since been put in place following the finalization of the Task Force on Judicial Reforms and the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 2010. The main objective of the researcher is to assess the effect of these reforms on the performance of secretaries in the Judiciary and how they can be facilitated to improve on it. This study will be carried out in the Nakuru Law Courts where there are different departments with a total of 20 secretaries. It is situated along Gusii Road, off Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru Town, next to the District Commissioner’s office.
Statement of the Problem
According to Ouko (2009), an independent and effective Judiciary is vital for a democratic society founded on the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. The primary role of the Judiciary is to independently and impartially administer justice and arbitrate legal disputes. The Judiciary also reinforces checks and balances between the other arms of the government and by so doing, ensures constitutionalism. By arbitrating on disputes in society and upholding the rule of law the Judiciary contributes to social order that is the foundation for social and economic development. However, the Judiciary faces several challenges that undermine its ability to play its aforesaid role effectively. The institutional growth of the Judiciary has not been accompanied by introduction of better and more effective management methods over personnel and financial resources leading to poor service delivery. Some of the factors contributing to poor service delivery in addition to the above are: absence of performance management systems, weak culture of professionalism and...
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