Explained: How to file cases on the Judiciary e-filing system

Supreme Court upheld Appeal Court’s decision compelling the owner of 14 Riverside Drive to pay creditor. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

In efforts to transform the delivery of justice in Kenya, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recently rolled out the Judiciary Electronic Filing (e-filing) system.

The system according to Chief Justice Martha Koome will allow litigants and lawyers to file cases and access court documents electronically, reducing the need for physical visits to the courts.

This will complement the virtual court proceedings that were adopted in 2020 and have been in practice to date.

Speaking on Spice FM on Thursday, March 21, Judiciary ICT Director Peter Kyalo said the move to adopt an e-filling system was meant to achieve 24-hour service delivery within the Judiciary.

This, according to him, will eliminate the issues of missing files and detaining people since they were late to process their bond among other issues.

To achieve that, Kyalo outlined the required process that lawyers, advocates, and agencies need to follow to access the system.

First, Kyalo says one has to create an account with the Judiciary considering you can only file cases and access files if you have an account.

Once authorised, the officers will then be given access to the system through a Virtual Private Network which the Judiciary will use to track the activities in the system.

Once access is approved, then you will be able to access the cases that are in your account.

“You can only file if you have an account and you can only access files that you are handling. Authorised officers will only access the system through a virtual private network. This means you will need access to our network through VPN and then again access to the system through password and two-factor verification,” he explained.

Reiterating his setiments, Josphat Karanja, Deputy ICT Director in the Judiciary noted that the system allows one to build the case online and once it is complete they can submit it.

Further, there is a public information kiosk in the system where one can access the details of any case.

The system will also allow cases to be processed on an individual basis and once processed, you will then get an invoice on your phone or email and payment can be made by anyone despite their location.

In case of a power outage, Karanja says there is an offline mode in which processing can still be done.

“We have an offline mode in which we can process the documents when there is an outage, especially time bond matters. There is a way we manage them through a manual system in that short time and we will integrate them when the systems are back.”

Further, the Judiciary is working to install solar panels in all courts across the country which will ensure zero interruptions during court sessions.

In stations like Kakuma where the network could be a challenge, Kyalo noted that arrangements are being made to ensure those in charge are equipped with modems and laptops for efficiency.

Cases that were also recorded and processed manually will be updated in the system in a compressed for easier access.

The e-filling system was launched early this month and marks a significant milestone in the Judiciary’s efforts to enhance efficiency, transparency, and access to justice for all Kenyans.