CJ Martha Koome appoints 91 magistrates to tackle land disputes

CJ Martha Koome appoints 91 magistrates to tackle land disputes

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed 91magistrates to hear cases involving environmental and land conflicts.

The Chief Justice stated that the
magistrates will conduct cases at their current and future duty stations as

The appointments took effect on August 1,
and the move is intended to reduce the backlog of land and property disputes,
which has continued to grow despite the establishment of the Environment and
Land Court, a special High Court division, to deal with such cases in 2011.

The magistrates of the specialized courts
have the authority to hear claims relating occupation and title to land, as
long as the value of the subject matter does not exceed Sh20 million.

Appeals from the designated magistrate’s
courts are heard by the Environment and Land Court. The court also has appeal
jurisdiction over municipal tribunal rulings.

The National Land Commission, the Business
Premises Rent Tribunal, the Rent Restriction Tribunal, the National Environment
Tribunal, and the Cooperative Tribunal are among these tribunals (in as far as
the dispute relates to land).

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The magistrates will also hear cases
involving environmental planning and preservation, climate change, and land use
planning and borders.

Other disagreements concern valuation,
natural resources, compulsory acquisition, land administration, and management.

The Environment and Land Court Act was
changed in 2015 to empower the Chief Justice to appoint specific magistrates to
sit over cases involving environment and land concerns in any region of the
nation by publishing a notice in the Kenya Gazette.

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