Rethink Judiciary security

Monica Kivuti
Monicah Kivuti
Photo credit: Pool| Nation Media Group

The recent death of Magistrate Monica Kivuti sent shockwaves through the Kenyan justice system. The shooting incident underscored the long-overlooked safety and security of judicial officers.

This incident raises questions about the existing security measures. Are they adequate? Did they fail? But more importantly, how can we ensure the safety of our judicial officers moving forward?

Magistrates and judges play a critical role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice is served. They are the backbone of our judicial system. The nature of their work exposes them to potential threats stemming from disgruntled litigants and the high-stakes nature of some cases. The shooting by a police officer shows the unpredictable nature of these threats, demanding a security approach that is comprehensive and adaptable.

Ensuring the safety of magistrates and judges requires a multifaceted approach. There must be a thorough assessment of the current security protocols in court premises. This includes evaluating the adequacy of security personnel, surveillance systems and emergency response procedures. Regular training of court staff and police officers on handling potential threats and emergencies is also crucial. Additionally, providing personal security for judicial officers, particularly those handling high-risk cases, should be prioritised.

A robust legal and policy framework must be put in place to effectively safeguard judicial officers. This includes enacting laws that specifically address the protection of magistrates and judges and establishing clear guidelines for security protocols within court premises.

Investing in the security of our judges and magistrates isn’t just about protecting individuals; it’s about safeguarding the integrity of the justice system itself. A judiciary under constant threat of violence will struggle to deliver fair and impartial verdicts.

Kivuti’s death should serve as a catalyst for change.

Mr Chiriba comments on social issues. [email protected]