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CJ proposes use of Common Fund to build, refurbish courts

Ghana's Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo.

Ghana’s Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, is proposing the use of portions of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), for the establishment and refurbishment of dilapidated court structures to ensure the delivery of quality justice in the country.

Her Lordship, who made the suggestion today, [Tuesday] in the Upper East Region during a three-day working visit, explained that, the unfavorable conditions of Ghana’s courts and the inconvenience caused by lack of courts in some districts, is hindering the delivery of justice.

A tour of the six courts in thirteen districts in the Upper East Region, showed that some of them had not seen any renovation works over the past years.

It was against this backdrop, that the Chief Justice, Sophia  Akuffo, underscored the need for part of the district assemblies’ common fund to be used to rehabilitate and build new courts for easy access and quality delivery  of Justice.

Chief Justice Sophia  Akuffo, also hinted that, judges will soon be required to adopt the use of technology in the adjudication and delivery of justice.

“We are going to have a holistic approach to address the dilapidated courts in the country.  So we will try and at least begin a program of serious rehabilitation, renovation, proper maintenance and even sometimes replacement of our courts. We are coming with an arrangement with the administrator of the district assembly common fund so that, they make sure that, part of that fund if not all of it, is spent on building  new courts  in districts without courts and where there are, and in a mess, that those district courts are refurbished.”

“It is my hope that, by the time that my term ends, we would have completed a significant numbers of constructions, refurbishment, rehabilitation and repairs of our courts.”

Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo hinted that, judges will soon be required to adopt the use of technology in the adjudication and delivery of justice.

“From the districts courts through to the hierarchy of courts, judges would need to adopt the use of technology in the adjudication and delivery of justice, because we do see cases which have taken so long before reaching the Supreme Court, you wonder whether there is any value met by the litigants. Judicial outcomes must add some value to the people who come to the courts and many times, the timeliness of delivery of justice is key.”

By: Frederick Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana