Chief Justice calls for efficient justice delivery

Chief Justice Georgina Wood
Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood on Wednesday charged judges to strive to ensure stable and efficient justice delivery system devoid of delays.

She also cautioned judges against acts that tend to deliver injustice to people and rather ensure that people were able to access justice system on an equal basis.

This was contained in a speech delivered on her behalf by Justice Jones Dotse, Justice of the Supreme Court, at the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) in Accra.

The three-day conference, which is on the theme: “Thinking Ahead: Advocating a stable and effective Justice System through increased efficiency and waste elimination” is to enable the association to do self-introspection and dialogue on how to avoid waste in the adjudicative role.

Mrs Justice Wood noted that even though the judiciary, as an institution, has not done badly; there is always room for improvement.

She stated that various reform measures have been put in place by the Judicial Service to ensure that the courts were user friendly and expeditious in handling disputes.

She said processes have also been put in place to ensure that judges work in a better environment with better equipment and facilities.

“What we have to do to ensure continuity of these reforms and processes is to dream about how to preserve, protect and carry these along in the years to come. We have to think ahead of our times, and journey into the future by providing for the next generation” she added.

Mrs Justice Wood further charged the judges to pay particular attention to the issues of adjournments and preparation of cause lists with time allotments as the benchmark.

She said judges must also change their attitude towards remand cases, and where bail is granted, the conditions imposed on the people, saying that, this eventually calls into question the need to review the criminal justice administration in the country.

She emphasized the need for reforms in some aspects of the Civil Procedure Rules C.I. 47, C.I.19 and C.I. 16, respectively.

Mrs Justice Wood called for the setting up of small claims courts for monetary matters, landlord and tenant, compensations, minor civil claims, land and boundary disputes, succession disputes etc, due to the frustration faced by litigants in their claims.

She said if litigants should lose confidence in the administration of justice, chaos and anarchy would be the result, adding that, the courts must think of allotting time lines for the determination of such small claims.

Mrs Marrietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Minister of Justice and Attorney General called for efficient and independent judiciary to ensure confidence in the national economy and promote growth.

She said timely and enforceable decisions of the court, are key component of an attractive business and investment climate.

She said business men in their investment decisions, take into account the risk of being involved in commercial, labour and other disputes, adding that, the efficiency with which the judicial system in a country handles litigation is therefore very important.

Mrs Brew Appiah Oppong also stated that effective monitoring and evaluation can help shorten the length of proceedings and improve the quality of justice.

She said the lack of quality justice decision could increase risks in doing business and affect the choice of doing business in certain countries.

She noted that the regular evaluation of the activities of the courts are tools to increase the quality of justice in order to improve access to justice, trust, predictability and the timeliness of justice decisions.

Justice Dennis Adjei, President of AMJG stated that the meeting was to enable the association to do self-assessment and dialogue on how to avoid waste in their adjudicative role.

He charged members to come out with practical solutions on how to eliminate waste in the system else they would just be paying lip service.

He expressed the hope that at the end of the conference members of the association would be able to find antidotes to problems, such as non-proof of service by bailiffs, long cause lists, unnecessary adjournments and rigid and very technical rules in the Procedure rules, which end up in promoting multiplicity of suits and applications.

“As judges, we should endeavour to eliminate waste through the application of proper managerial skills” he added.

Source: GNA

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