The Chief Justice of Ghana, Gertrude Sackey Torkonoo, has called on staff of the Judicial Service to make the courthouse welcoming and reassuring to bruised individuals.
She said, ‘the courthouse is comparable to hospitals, people come here because they are in dire need of care, be it emotional, psychological and social…ours it to sooth their pain and not to bruise their wounds with unwanted behaviours.’
Justice Torkonoo said this when she opened the new court built for the Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly at Apremdo, as part of activities marking the new legal year.
The Apremdo Court is also part of President Akufo Addo’s promise to establish 100 new courthouses to bring the wheels of Justice closer to Ghanaians.
The Chief Justice said the Court and for that matter laws, were tools and assets that ensured order, direction and justice satisfaction to spur prosperity, development.
It further encouraged the Service to work in accordance with all ethical codes of conduct, she said.
Chief Justice Tork
onoo said, ‘as public officers, we are paid for the work we do, and it is high time we advance honest, fair and transparent justice system devoid of extortion of monies from clients to retain confidence in the justice system of the country.’
She spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals 10 and 16, which talked about equality, peace and justice, lauding the President for the initiative.
She urged Ghanaians to carefully follow up on their cases, and request to ask judges questions for better understanding during trial of their cases.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said the courthouse was the last hope of any common man desiring justice.
It was also a critical tool to entrenching democracy, law, order and development, he said.
The minister said the government was committed to the rule of law through improved access to justice and encouraged users of the new court to help maintain the facility.
The Divisional Chief of Apremdo, Nana Egya Kwamena XI, stated that the creation o
f the EKMA courts had decentralised and enhanced the administration of justice in the municipality.
Nana Kwamena XI said as a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner, he promptly responded to the Assembly’s request to provide land for the court complex, saying, historically, ‘Apremdo has consistently provided land for various development initiatives.’
He mentioned some beneficiary facilities such as the military barracks, Airforce barracks, Fire Service station, markets, and clinics now the courthouse, which was expected to deliver free and fair justice without fear or favor.
He said all these lands had been given in good faith for the development of Ghana, arguing that, apart from Burma Camp, Apremdo was the only community in the country that had released lands to the Government of Ghana to establish two military barracks being the Air force and 2BN army barracks.
Nana Kwamena said since their grandfathers released these lands to the Government to protect the air space and land territories
of Ghana, with the understanding that compensation would be paid to the stool, successive governments had not paid the due reparation for both lands.
‘This has often created tension between the families and the military units for land encroachment among many others.’
He said, as much as Apremdo was giving lands to promote the administration of Justice to the people of Ghana, they hoped the Judicial service would be responsive to hear cases in time as ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied.’
Nana Kwamena said Ghana had made progress with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) backed by an Act of Parliament and encouraged the public and the courts to make use of it in handling smaller cases.
‘It is indisputable that ADR has demonstrated its efficacy in terms of expediency, cost-effectiveness, and reduced burden, in contrast to the formal adversarial structure of the traditional court system,’ Nana Kwamena added.
He appealed to the Chief Justice to ensure that processes for complaints against unprofessional acts
of some judicial staff were made easier to ensure discipline.
Source: Ghana News Agency