The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, yesterday inaugurated a newly installed solar power system for the Winneba District and High Courts in the Central Region.
The Weija Circuit and District Courts, as well as the Sege District Court are the next to benefit from the solar power under the pilot project being supported by the Australian government at a cost of 39,000 Australian dollars.
It forms part of the vision of the Chief Justice and the Judicial Service to power the courts in the rural and peri-urban areas with solar systems to improve access to justice by ensuring that the courts are fit for purpose and fully functional through the provision of adequate infrastructure, logistics and prudent management of resources.
To that end, the Judicial Service is liaising with the Ministry of Energy to provide all district courts with solar-powered energy.
Speaking during the inauguration of the facility, Ms Justice Akuffo stressed the need for the Judiciary to harness the tools of technology to make the delivery of justice more accessible to the people.
The deployment of technology, she said, could oil the wheels of justice and deliver it more speedily and efficiently.
Ms Justice Akuffo said the Judicial Service, will in the next five years, scale up the nationwide solar programme for all court buildings and gave the assurance that “indeed before the end of this year, a significant number of courts would have solar power and also be automated.
“Closely following the installation of solar energy on the premises of the courts would be the establishment of direct transcription services to facilitate the efficiency in court proceedings through full and reliable recording, as well as storage of all proceedings” the Chief Justice added.
She expressed appreciation to the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Barnes, and the Australian government for partnering the Judiciary to make the powering of the courts with solar power a reality.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Mr Lawrence Apaalse, for his part, announced that the ministry would soon start the installation of up to 200 Mega Watts of distributed solar power generation by the year 2030 in both residential and non-residential facilities.
“Specific priority areas being considered in the first phase include the Jubilee House, Parliament House, the Ministries, universities and some selected senior high schools,” he noted.
The Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Barnes, noted that connecting the courts with solar power would position them to function effectively, deepen the confidence in the judicial system of the country and also underpins people’s faith in the country’s democratic system.