Thousands of clerks are at risk of losing their jobs as the Judiciary fully embraces the e-filing of documents.
In a notice from the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, the filing of cases in all the courts in Nairobi will be done exclusively through the electronic filing system (e-filing) effective July 1, 2020.
This means that the advocates and public prosecutors as well as members of the public will be required to register themselves through the Judiciary portal.
Some of the services that stakeholders in the Judiciary will undertake include uploading documents, assessing court fees, and submitting files to the registry online. https://twitter.com/Kenyajudiciary/status/1272790115119742976/photo/1
Many of the services now available at the palms of lawyers, prosecutors, and the public have always been undertaken by clerks.
“Any computer or device that allows attachment of files will be sufficient to access the system and carry out the e-filing,” said Chief Registrar Anne Amadi.
The Judiciary chief administrator said that the portal is already open for use and the public is encouraged to familiarise with it prior to the official launch.
This is part of the ongoing digitization of the Judiciary with some courts already having started recognizing the service of documents by way of WhatsApp and email.
During this Covid-19 period, advocates have been filing documents digitally and attending court virtually, rendering court clerks services superfluous.
The announcement on Tuesday, June 16, comes in the wake of the proposed amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules which when passed into law will recognize the service of summons by email and mobile-enabled messaging.
However, clerks may still be useful to advocates as physical service of documents will still be necessary for instances where parties to a suit lack the technical know-how to use smartphones or computers.