Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, Chief Justice
Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, Chief Justice
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Chief Justice reopens Court of Appeal nationwide

The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, has reopened the Court of Appeal in other parts of the country.

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Previously, apart from Accra, the Court of Appeal used to sit in Kumasi, Tamale, Ho, Koforidua and Cape Coast to deliver justice pertaining to other parts of the country, but such arrangements were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

With the reopening, apart from Accra, the Court of Appeal will sit in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Koforidua in the Eastern Region and Sekondi in the Western Region.

Justice Torkornoo announced this during an interaction with the Judicial Press Corps at the Law Court Complex in Accra last Thursday.

Commencement

The Chief Justice said administrative procedures had been put in place to ensure that the reopened courts commenced operations during the latter part of this month.

“A lot of consultation has gone into all these decisions. We have spoken with Parliament, the Bar and other stakeholders to arrive at this,” she said.

Justice Torkornoo further explained that the reopening of the Court of Appeal was part of continuous efforts by the judiciary to bring justice closer to people.

“Justice is a product of people of Ghana. Law is made by the people of Ghana; it is only administered by the judiciary, and therefore, we must take all steps to bring justice closer to people,” she said.

The Chief Justice said the Court of Appeal in Kumasi would serve the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Ahafo and Western North regions.
It will also hold virtual court sittings for the six regions of the north.

Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo (middle), the Chief Justice,  with members of the Judicial Press Corps

“The Court of Appeal for the northern regions will be reopened by a satellite registry in Tamale, and cases will be heard virtually from Kumasi,” she said. 

Justice Torkornoo further explained that the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast had been moved to Sekondi due to the deteriorating state of the Cape Coast court complex.

She added that the Court of Appeal in Koforidua would now serve the Eastern, Oti and Volta regions.

On the new court shift system (CSS) which is to be implemented in Accra on a pilot basis, Justice Torkornoo explained that it was meant to reduce the caseload in courts to enhance justice delivery.

The CSS, an innovation by the Chief Justice, which commenced on March 25, this year, allows selected courts to operate morning and afternoon sessions, with the morning session starting from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and afternoon session from 2:00p.m. to 6:30p.m. 

The courts selected for the CSS are the two High Courts at Adentan, the Amasaman High Court One, the Circuit Court at Weija, the District Court at La, the District Court at Teshie, the two District Courts at Madina and the Nsawam High Court.

Justice Torkornoo said the CSS was introduced after it was realised that some courts had as many as 1,000 cases, while others had fewer than 30 cases.

“Those judges with few cases are hardly doing any work, not because they do not want to work but because the people in their jurisdictions are not bringing many disputes to court,” she said.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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