77% of cases in small claims courts are contract breaches

An update report by the Judiciary showed that 77% of cases filed in small claims courts across the country in the 3 years to June 2023 involved contract breaches
77% of cases in small claims courts are contract breaches
PHOTO COURTESY

Fights over contract breaches dominate filings in the small claims courts (SCCs), new data shows, even as the Judiciary faces pressure to clear a backlog of cases that risk locking billions of shillings in investor cash.

An update report by the Judiciary showed that 77% of cases filed in small claims courts across the country in the 3 years to June 2023 involved contract breaches.

During the period, the majority of the filed (77%) and resolved cases (79%) related to Breach of Contracts,” the Judiciary notes in its 2022/23 annual report.During the 3 years, 20,792 contract-breach cases were filed at the different small claims courts, followed by 6,277 personal injury cases and 92 commercial suits.

This growth reflects the growing demand for accessible and swift dispute resolution, as well as the court’s commitment to timely adjudication of disputes,” the Judiciary says.A small claims court is mandated to handle civil, commercial, and personal injury claims whose subject value is less than KSh1 million and make determination within sixty days.

Rulings and judgments from the small claims court can be challenged at the High Court’s different divisions depending on the subject matter. If the subject is a supply contract, for instance, the suit can be appealed at the commercial division of the High Court.

Aside from clearing the case backlog in the Judiciary, the court was intended to help with cash circulation in the economy and make Kenya more business-friendly.

The Judiciary report however shows a fresh rise in case backlogs—a development that would hurt the plans to expedite the determination of cases.

The SCC has experienced significant growth in caseload since its inception in the financial year 2020/21. The number of filed cases has increased from 1,023 to 27,161 and the number of resolved cases has increased from 637 to 21,210 over the same period” the Judiciary said in its report.

Pending cases surged from 386 in the first year to 7,264 by the end of June last year, a more than 1,700% spike.

AGENCIES

Share Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By Same Author

Inspector General Koome resigns

Kenya’s Police Chief Japheth Koome has resigned following mounting pressure over police brutality during recent protests that rocked the country. The announcement was made