Kericho – The Kericho Law Courts have joined 23 other courthouses across the country in establishing the Court Annexed Mediation (CAM) program, a form of alternative dispute resolution whereby cases brought to court for trial are sent to the court for possible settlement be forwarded to mediation .
Chief Judge Asenath Ongeri of Kericho, who launched the program, said the arbitration program should help settle disputes quickly and reduce the backlog of court cases.
Judge Ongeri said the introduction of CAM in 2016 resulted in a significant reduction in the backlog of cases while freeing up billions of shillings for the economy.
“Court-attached mediation offers an alternative route whereby, if the court deems it appropriate or if the parties agree, such cases can be referred to a mediation process, in which a court-appointed expert, also known as a mediator, an amicable settlement enables the dispute to be resolved,” she said.
The presiding judge was flanked by her counterpart at the Bomet Law Courts, Justice Roseline Korir, and representatives from the Law Society of Kenya, who also expressed optimism that the CAM will be a great success as an alternative to dispute resolution.
During the event held in Kericho, Judge Ongeri also unveiled the register of mediation attached to the court.
Meanwhile, Kericho Deputy Governor Lily Ng’ok, who honored the event, advocated the adjustment of mediation in resolving disputes, noting that it took less time and resources and helped restore broken relationships amicably.
“I believe that residents seeking justice in various disputes will greatly benefit from court-ordered mediation, and we thank the judiciary for introducing the program to our county,” the Deputy Governor said.
Mediation is recognized in Article 48 of the Kenyan Constitution (2010) as one of the ways of promoting access to justice.
Court Annexed Mediation (CAM) was first introduced in Kenya in April 2016 at the Court’s Chambers of Commerce and Family. – kna