Access to justice is considered a basic principle of the rule of law. This means that all persons should obtain fair, effective, efficient, impartial and transparent redress of their issues in both formal and informal systems of justice.
The Justice Needs and Satisfaction in Kenya Survey (2017) reported that 10% of Kenyans resolved their disputes through the formal Court system. This means that a vast majority of Kenyans have resorted to use traditional, informal, and other processes to resolve their disputes, which are outside the court system. Furthermore, the Kenyan State of the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice Annual Report (2017/2018) shows 55% of cases taking longer than 3 years, 22% taking longer than 5 years in the court system. Notwithstanding the above, appeals increase the already over-stretched timelines.
The branch of Alternative Dispute Resolution (i.e. Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation) creates a different avenue whereby individuals are able to obtain legal redress in a swift, affordable, convenient and confidential manner. We believe, that the extensive adoption of ADR in the mainstream system, will ensure the accessibility of legal redress to all persons including, the vulnerable, disadvantaged and minority communities. We aim at preemptively, proactively, and expeditiously resolving disputes with minimal or zero litigation.
At Utatuzi Center, we strive to bridge the existing gaps by merging technology with Alternative Dispute Resolution to promote the provision of access to justice, in accordance with Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As an enterprise, we:
Create convenience and accessibility: through taking a people centered approach, we remove obstacles by providing a technology-based platform (with an in-built video conferencing software), which is user friendly and can be used from any device;
Increase Efficiency: our technology (API) automates, parts of the dispute resolution process therefore decreasing the time and cost taken to resolve a dispute making it swift and affordable.
Provide education: we create awareness regarding alternative dispute resolution methods therefore eliminating barriers that prevent people from understanding the various options available to them while seeking legal redress.