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Kenyan courts have issued 7,000 judgements digitally amid COVID-19 disruption

Kenyan courts have delivered 7,000 judgements digitally amid a disruption in normal court proceedings occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure was announced by Chief Justice David Maraga during a handover ceremony in which he received computer donations from the European Union.

“We have so far managed to deliver approximately 7,000 judgments during this period. There is no doubt that the crisis has provided an opportunity for us in the justice sector to reflect on how to address the current gaps related to technology in the enhancement of justice,” nation.africa website quotes Maraga.

Operations at Kenyan courts have been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some cases forced to be heard in open spaces in efforts to limit the risk of spreading the virus in the country. Other cases have been heard on videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

Maraga noted that the courts had not hit the levels of digital operations targeted, but were on course there as stake holders continue to gain more experience in the new order of business.

“It may take a while to reach a critical level of operations but with determination, we will enhance our services using technological platforms available,” he said.

By Friday, Kenya had reported 36,724 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 646 deaths, according to data published by the ministry of health.

The East African country is one of only eight in Africa to register more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases.

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