Judiciary Suspends Court Sessions Over Coronavirus Scare

  • Left to right: Supreme Court Judge Philomena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga during a past ruling
    Left to right: Supreme Court Judge Philomena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga during a past ruling
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  • The Judiciary has temporarily suspended court hearings across the country.

    The announcement was made public by Chief Justice David Maraga in a press statement outside the Supreme Court on Sunday, March 15.

    "We have today agreed as follows; in compliance with the directive issued by the National Emergency Response Committee on Corononavirus, we shall forthwith scale down court activities throughout the country starting Monday, March 16, for two weeks in order to allow for further consultations and design appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus," Maraga stated.

    A photo of Chief Justice David Maraga during a press conference at the Supreme Court on November 4, 2019.
    Chief Justice David Maraga during a press conference at the Supreme Court on November 4, 2019.
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    During this period, the CJ stated that prisoners and those in remand would not be brought to court.

    All new cases and arrests except those of a higher magnitude will be dealt with at the police stations in line with the guidelines issued by the inspector general of the police.

    Maraga announced the immediate suspension of all hearings and mentions of all civil cases in all courts, along with all execution proceedings.

    Courts will continue to handle cases of emergencies and taking pleas in criminal cases. Judges will in the meantime review deserving cases identified by prison authorities and issue appropriate revision orders in an effort to decongest the prisons.

    "Judges will in the meantime review deserving cases identified by the prisons authorities and issue appropriate revision orders in an effort to decongest the prisons," Maraga pronounced.

    He added that Magistrate courts across the country would undertake a review of bail terms for those in remand.

    All conferences, workshops and training programmes for court staff was suspended as well until further notice, along with travel outside the country.

    The move by the judiciary follows the government's directive to ensure that the spread of the Coronavirus is contained. This saw public gatherings and rallies suspended to ensure public safety.

    Members of the public are advised to ensure uttermost hygiene and avoid exposure to public settings in case one is persistently coughing, or sneezing.