Kenya's Maraga launches guide book for criminal cases
Chief Justice David Maraga has launched a quick-reference book for judges and magistrates presiding over criminal cases.
The Criminal Procedure Bench Book will provide guidance on status, judicial authorities and policy directions on the cases.
Maraga said the book will improve jurisprudence by giving explanations on court processes and the manner in which justice is dispensed. The book was part of deliverables on sustaining the Judiciary transformation agenda. Maraga said the objective of the transformation is to enhance services.
“It shall be a crucial resource material for magistrates and judges during criminal trials, as well as the basis for further research, training, partnerships, benchmarking, and development initiatives,” Maraga said. The CJ spoke in Nairobi on Friday during the launch. He said the book will not replace reference to primary sources such as statutes, judicial authorities and policy directions.
It will only serve as guide for locating the relevant laws. “This book captures the progressive jurisprudence and practices emerging from our superior and subordinate courts on all aspects of criminal procedure,” he said.
The book will incorporates recent policy prescriptions and international law and standards where applicable.
“The sum result shall be improved uniformity, efficacy and consistency in criminal proceedings across the country,” Maraga said.
Although the book is designed for judges and magistrates, it will be useful to other players in the criminal justice system including prosecutors, lawyers, probation officers, children officers, police officers, suspects and students and researchers.
“The Judiciary has been developing a purposive, robust, indigenous and patriotic jurisprudence that reflects the values, principles and aspirations of all Kenyans as reflected in the Constitution since 2010,” the CJ said. He said Parliament has enacted many laws that significantly affect the criminal trial process.
“The courts have been at the forefront of interpreting and implementing these provisions,” Maraga said.
By CAROLYNE KUBWA