June 13, 2024
P.O.Box 613ER Gombilla House, Lamashegu Market, Tamale, Northern Region

Don’t pay unauthorised fees to court officials – CJ

Chief Justice Torkornoo said this when she inaugurated the Kotobabi District Court in the Ayawaso Central Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region.

The court formed part of the 100 Courthouses programme undertaken by the government in the year 2020 to improve judicial infrastructure.

The Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and District Assemblies Common Fund provided resources for the establishment of the court.

The modern court facility has offices for court functions, washrooms for staff and court users, male and female cells, solar power, a standby generator and a borehole to provide sustainable water.

The edifice, which has a dedicated space for Court Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), is to serve Kotobabi and its adjoining communities.

The Chief Justice also used the occasion to embark on a community sensitisation drive by explaining to the community the functions and processes of the various courts.

Her community sensitisation programme is dubbed: “Improving Justice Delivery Through Community Engagement.”

Chief Justice Torkornoo said the newly constructed District Court would not be of much use if the administrative staff did not effectively assist the Magistrate to function effectively.

“To this end, I will urge staff who would be working in this court to exhibit a high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.”

“I would like to remind staff that most clients who patronize our services are often physically and emotionally stressed. They need assistance with technicalities as they turn to the courts for justice.”

She urged staff to ensure that the court which served as their first point of contact to present a new and a friendlier face of justice in the municipality.

The Chief Justice noted that the challenge for appropriate infrastructure was acute at the district level, adding “we know that lack of access to justice can lead directly to loss of confidence in the tools of justice. Because of this, we must address any challenges to access to justice if we are to provide the necessary guarantees of peace, security, and investor confidence that the country needs,” she said.

According to her, the administration of justice should not be left in the hands of lawyers and judges alone and urged the public to take keen interest in all matters relating to administration of justice.

“If we are to thrive and prosper as a nation, then the law needs to be known, understood, to be applied to all and to be policed by all.”

She told the community that as citizens, the law was the most potent avenue for the resolution of conflicts, and it was the cornerstone of all modern societies.

“This is how the peace that we are so proud to have in Ghana can be maintained,” the Chief Justice added.

Mr Achibald Mac Amuasi Cobbina, Ayawaso Central Municipal Chief Executive Officer, was elated over the establishment of the court in the area.

According to Mr Cobbina, people within the community initially travelled long distances to access justice.

He held that the establishment of the court constituted the “decentralisation of justice,” adding, people in the area would no longer put the law in their hands.

Mr Cobbina pledged the assembly’s continuous support, saying it would ensure that the edifice was regularly maintained.

Source: GNA

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