Chief Justice threatens to close down dilapidated courtrooms by June this year

Accra- Chief Justice Sophia A. Akuffo said she may close down dilapidated courtrooms by June this year.

According to her the ambiance of some of the courts was not in good conditions and was not the best in the 21st century.

The Chief Justice made these remarks when she toured some courts in the Greater Region to have the first hand information of the state of the courts in the country.

The visit which took her to the District courts in Accra Central, Laterbiokoshie, Kaneshie, Weija and Tema, was also to remind District Chief Executives and Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives of their mandate to provide decent courtroom and residential facilities for judges.

Ms Akuffo noted that there was the need to rebuild and upgrade some of the courts so that they could be connected to Information Communication Technology so that judgments and appeals on cases could be readily accessed.

At Tema, the Chief Justice observed that a district court held its proceedings under a shed and the premises was not fenced. Offices used by the court did not have electricity and some typists resort to the use of old manual typewriters.

The premise, which also has the Tema Land court, did not have wash rooms, the public and staff of the Judicial Service had to use sections of the premises as place of convenience.

Member of staff complained of dust in the court room and the court was under mercy of the weather.

Ms Akuffo said the Judicial Service have designed some standards designs for their courts and tasked Mr Alex Opoku- Acheampong, the Judicial Secretary to make the designs available to the Tema Development Corporation (TDC).

She said it was important for staff of the service to work in safe environment.

The Chief Justice appealed to the TDC to provide the various courts on their premises with the needed logistics to make the court appealing, adding that the courts would be using satellites and the internet in their operations.

According to her, lawyers would be able to file their cases via online and bailiffs would also serve lawyer online.

She indicated that the process of filing documents online was long overdue and Tema was going to be branded as one of the model courts of the Judicial Service.

We want the social partnership between the Judiciary and the TDC to be stronger and we want to name and praise courts with beautiful edifice, she added.

Mrs Alice Ofori-Attah, Managing Director, TDC and Mrs Elizabeth Mensa Banson, Board Chairman, TDC, would provide the needed support to the District Court and the Land Court on their premises.

During the tour, it came to light that the Land Court which served Tema, Ada, Prampram and its environs had leakage and the court uses plastic chairs during sittings.

The Court’s Registrar was housed in a small container with no air conditioner.

Mr John Kwame Daniels, Registrar of the Lands Court appealed for more human resources and logistics to facilitate their work.

Source: Ghana News Agency