The Court User Satisfaction Survey reveals that our courts and cells are not only filthy, they lack washrooms.
The survey was conducted by the Judiciary in June and July 2019 to gauge courts’ performance in areas of access to justice.
Besides this, our Judiciary has also been known for its slow nature in the delivery of justice, mostly blamed on poor staffing, inadequate infrastructure and insufficient funding. However, the Judiciary’s outlook improved under Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who took office in 2011.
First, Mutunga set out to reassert the Judiciary’s independence by delinking it from the whims of an executive to whose tune it danced. Thus, a resurgent, independent Judiciary inspired confidence in the public to seek justice in our courts.
But while Mutunga increased the number of courts, judges and infrastructure, a task Chief Justice David Maraga continues to perform, the expansion of court rooms did not take into consideration the provision of adequate toilets.
Public places frequented by members of the public must have adequate toilet facilities to remain friendly to users.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case because even busy places like banks have failed to provide toilets for their customers. The colonial government kept court cells dirty as a deliberate way of dehumanising suspects and convicts.
Today, however, we live under a different dispensation in which emphasis is human rights.
The need for adequate toilets and washrooms in courts cannot, therefore, be over emphasised.