Chief Justice, Justice Anin-Yeboah, has announced that government will build over hundred courts in the country for the Judiciary within the next year under the District Assembly Common Fund.
He mentioned that from “Central Accra to Nsawam”, there is not a single court on that stretch until one gets to Amasaman. With this, he explained that this should not happen in any “civilized society”.
According to him, the same situation holds true for Central Kumasi to Obuasi, as there is no court on the way which “covers a distance of about 36 miles”.
Commending government on its bold move to build the court, Justice Anin-Yeboah also acknowledged the challenges inherent in the profession under which members work. That notwithstanding, he urged member to try and win the trust of the public.
Justice Anin-Yeboah made these revelations at the opening ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana in Accra.
“Permit me to applaud the government and Members of Parliament for the construction of new courts under the District Assembly Common Fund. The judiciary is now to receive over a hundred courts throughout the country within the next year”.Chief Justice Anin Yeboah
Additionally, Justice Annin-Yeboah concerted to the fact that the courts of justice may not easily be accessible to the poor or the legally aided litigant. Yet, he revealed that members have to do their best within the limited logistics constraints “to serve the justice needs of our compatriots”.
He further advised members to counsel litigants to resort to Alternative Dispute Resolution. This, he noted, must be applied in cases where it is appropriate to lessen the burden imposed on Judges and Magistrates.
Plight of Magistrates
Justice Anin-Yeboah revealed that members of the judiciary must also adjust to the constraints suffered in the hope that government will apply additional resources to provide court infrastructure to support justice delivery in the country.
“We have serious constraints as an institution. In a population of over 30 million, we have less than 404 Judges and Magistrates administering justice in a litigious society like Ghana”.Chief Justice Anin Yeboah
Prior to this, the President of the Association, Justice Senyo Dzamefe, had bemoaned the manner in which their allowances are being paid. He revealed that the piecemeal approach in dealing with their allowances leaves much to be desired.
Following this, Justice Dzamefe, called on government to do better with the conditions of service for Justices as the current state of affairs is nothing to write home about.
In 2016, judges in the country demanded a review of their remunerations and conditions of service. Supreme Court judge, William Atuguba, demanded that judges be given what he called an enhanced leave allowance.
This, he explained, incudes entertainment allowance, among others, to compensate for their efforts at ensuring justice in the country.
According to him, considering the important role judges play in the country, such a move will significantly curb the issue of corruption in the judiciary.
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