A new district court has been inaugurated at Assin Fosu in the Central Region, with a call on the staff of the Judicial Service to work to make the courts friendlier.
In an address read on her behalf by Mr Justice Dennis Adjei, the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, said the staff of the Judicial Service must strive to attain a high degree of efficiency, productivity and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
The GHc47,000 edifice was sponsored by Denmark through the DANIDA Good Governance and Human Rights Programme.
Before the building of the new facility, the court was housed in a dilapidated structure and its staff were constantly harassed by snakes and bees.
Sometimes too court proceedings were rained off.
Mrs Justice Wood noted that most clients of the courts were often wounded, distressed or heartbroken and often needed comfort and assistance and expressed the hope that the court would enhance the image of the Judicial Service through effective and improved service delivery.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
“These courts, which serve as a first port of call, should present a new and friendlier face of justice in Ghana,” she said.
Mrs Justice Wood was also concerned that the district assemblies had failed to support the provision of courthouses and residential accommodation for magistrates, as enjoined in the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462).
The situation, she indicated, had led to extreme accommodation shortage, as well as inadequate facilities for the service.
“Most of our courthouses are in a state of disrepair, with other courts also housed in rented premises. In this day and age, these courts also use inappropriate technology, obsolete equipment, to mention but a few of the problems hindering justice delivery across the board,” she stated.
The Supervising High Court Judge for Cape Coast, Mr Justice J.B. Benson, said the reforms in the Judicial Service were to create a legal system that would promote the rule of law and enhance access to justice.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Assin North, Mr Alex Antwi Boasiako, said the challenges with the old dilapidated courthouse compelled the assembly to appeal to the Judicial Service about two years ago for support and thanked the service for the support.
Shirley Asiedu-Addo/Daily Graphic/Ghana