Enhancing Access to Justice in Succession Disputes using Mediation in Kenya

Ngunjiri, Michael Maina
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Strathmore University
Succession disputes have been handled by the courts since the introduction of the formal justice system which has singlehandedly dispensed justice. The formal justice, being adversarial in nature, has faced a myriad of challenges that include; complex rules of procedure that undermine access to justice and expeditious disposal of cases, backlog and delays in the disposal of cases thereby eroding public confidence in the Judiciary, manual and mechanical systems of operations that affect efficiency in service delivery, inadequate financial and human resources that contribute to case backlog, inability to absorb donor funds due to complex procurement and other financial procedures and unethical conduct on the part of some judicial officers.
The court system in Kenya has been in use since independence and is the preferred means of the dispensation of justice by the State. 1 This has seen the resolution and settlement of succession disputes over the decades but not without its fair share of teething problems. The most glaring one of these problems is that there has been a backlog of cases that has1 Karen Blixen Camp Limited v Kenya Hotels and Allied Workers Union (2018) eKLR hampered the access to justice. 2 Access to justice is guaranteed by The Constitution which is expressly against any impediment of the same. 3 It is also mandated that justice must be delivered without delay.