Does Court Type, Size and Employee Satisfaction Affect Court Speed?. Hierarchical Linear Modelling With Evidence from Kenya

Marang’a Moses


In most judicial institutions, well-functioning courts are usually expected to process a large volume of work within demanding timelines. For courts to have played their role of enhancing access to justice, the yardstick of success is often viewed through the lens of the speed attained in rendering justice. In Kenya, despite the desirable timeline for finalizing most of the cases being ‘within 360 days’ from the date of case filing in courts, by the end of June 2020, 58 per cent of the unresolved cases had surpassed this timeline and subsequently classified as backlog. In the period 2018/19, the percentage of civil cases that were resolved within the set timeline by High Court and Magistrate Court, the two largest court types by volume of work, was 37 and 42 per cent respectively. Over the same period, the percentage of criminal cases that were resolved within the set timeline was 42 and 84 per cent for the two court types respectively. Evidently therefore, the Kenyan courts had not managed to resolve cases within the desirable timeline. To unearth the reasons that could be occasioning the delay, this study investigated the factors that were potentially affecting court speed. Specifically, the study set out to determine the variation in court speed attributable to court type, and further analyze the effect of court size and employee satisfaction on court speed. This was achieved through the use of Hierarchical Linear Modelling, cross sectional data for the period 2018/19 and estimation using Restricted Maximum Likelihood technique. The results revealed the existence of relatively high variation in court speed that is attributable to court type, and that the smaller the court size, the higher the court speed. Further, high level of employee satisfaction was found to increase timely resolution of cases. Consequently, diverse strategies and policy actions for enhancing court speed have been suggested.

Keywords: Court Speed, Court Type, Court Size, Employee Satisfaction, Hierarchical Linear Modelling

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/110-02

Publication date:June 30th 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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