- The Lawyers Hub
- March 19, 2020
- Kenya’s Chief Justice Issues Practice Directions on ICT in Light of Covid19 Pandemic
PRACTICE NOTES AND DIRECTIONS NO OF 2020 MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 81(3) OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE ACT
FROM: THE CHIEF JUSTICE AND PRESIDENT OF SUPREME COURT
TO: HON. JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES ADVOCATES
Pursuant the spirit of Article 48 of the Constitution, Section 3A and 3B of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, Section 1A and 1B of the Civil Procedure Act 2010 and for purposes of ensuring that the right of access to justice and expeditious disposal of cases, the Chief Justice in consultation with the Rules Committee, being cognizant of the purpose of overriding objective in civil proceedings which is aimed at attaining the following aims
makes the following Practice Directions and Notes:
- Parties and/or their advocates must strictly comply with the provisions of Order 1 Rule 26 of the Civil Procedure Rules as regards the need to disclose and furnish their contacts. Every document filed in court must contain the e-mail address and mobile telephone number of the firm of advocates or contact persons where parties are not represented by an advocate.
- Apart from filing of hard-copies, parties and their advocates are directed to email their pleadings to the email addresses to be provided by the relevant court Stations or Divisions.
- The Court will be at liberty pursuant to the above provisions as well as Order 42 Rules 13 and 16 and Order 52 Rule 16 of the Civil Procedure Rules to direct that Final Address after hearing be made and Civil Appeals and Civil Applications be canvassed by way of written submissions in such format and length as it may deem fit taking into account the nature of the case.
- Notwithstanding the above direction, the Court may, at its discretion on own motion or at the request of a party or his advocate direct the parties to highlight certain aspects of the submissions and may limit the time for doing so.
- Where the Court directs that the matter be canvassed by way of written submissions with or without oral highlighting, the parties, where represented and in appropriate cases, unrepresented parties, shall in addition to filing hard-copies furnish the court with copies in Microsoft word of their relevant pleadings, affidavits proceedings and submissions and copy the same to the opposite parties or their advocates on record indicating the case number and the judge or magistrate seized of the matter. In respect of submissions, the minimum font size used must be 12 with 1.5 spacing. The said soft copies shall be sent to the email address to be availed by each court Station or Division which address shall be conspicuously placed in court and given on request by the Court Assistants.
- When the Court reserves the date for delivery of the judgement, ruling or order, it may further direct at the time of the reservation of the said date that the same shall be delivered by transmission to the parties and/or their advocates to their furnished email addresses and the date when the same are transmitted shall be deemed to be the date of the delivery. At the time of the reservation of the date, the court may, by consent of the parties or on its own motion direct a period within which the execution of the judgement, ruling or order may be suspended or stayed.
- Where parties have furnished the court with their email addresses, nothing prevents the court from transmitting the judgement rulings and orders to the said email addresses notwithstanding that no directions as regards the said transmission have been given and no judgement, ruling or order shall be invalidated merely by the fact that such directions were never given. Save that where such directions are not given there shall be an automatic stay of execution of the judgement, ruling or order for a period of 14 days from the date of its transmission.
- Where directions are given by the Court and the parties or their advocates fail to comply therewith, such failure shall be construed as a failure to comply with Section 1A(3) of the Civil Procedure Act or 1B(3) of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act, as the case may be and may call for appropriate sanctions including payment of costs or denial of costs. In this regard the attention of advocates is drawn to the provisions of section 56 of the Advocates Act.
- Where a matter is brought to court under a Certificate of Urgency and the Court is satisfied that the matter is urgent, the Court shall have discretion to grant interim orders or give directions in Chambers on the basis of the pleadings and/or affidavit(s) without hearing counsel on the matter. If the Court is not satisfied that it is urgent, the Court shall give appropriate directions in the matter.
- In ex-parte applications the Court shall have discretion to grant the application without hearing advocates or parties. However, where the Court is not satisfied that the orders sought ought to be granted it will make such orders and directions as are appropriate and notify the parties of the same expeditiously.
- In respect of applications under Order 49 of the Civil Procedure Rules, advocates/applicants should specifically indicate on the body of the application that the file ought to be placed before the Registrar. A large letter “R” must be written on the top right hand corner of any application which is for hearing before the Registrar.
- Parties are at liberty to agree on suitable consents. In that event, the consent may similarly be communicated through the email address provides and the same shall be recorded as an order of the Court. It will not be necessary that all the parties sign a consent as long as they confirm their concurrence to the terms thereof.
HON. JUSTICE DAVID K. MARAGA, EGH
CHIEF JUSTICE AND PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT