Make Allocation for Courts in Your Budgets - Chief Justice to MMDCE’s

Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, has advised Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to ensure that their budgets have a specific allocation for developing and sustaining Courts in their various metropolis, municipalities and districts.

She was speaking at the 11th edition of the Annual Chief Justice’s Forum in Accra, on the theme “Quality Justice at the District Level” where she reminded them of their responsibility in providing properly built Court buildings and accommodation for Judges and Magistrates.

The Chief Justice reiterated her decision not to inaugurate Court buildings that do not have accompanying accommodation for the resident Judge or Magistrate. “Courts would not be inaugurated without accompanying accommodation for Judges and Magistrates. It is unhealthy for Judges and Magistrates to travel long distances to work, yet they are compelled to do so”, she said.

Justice Sophia Akuffo also reaffirmed her decision to close down all Court buildings across the country that are in a deplorable state by the end of the year. 

Call for Support

Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo called on the public and businesses to support the Judiciary at the local level, whiles pledging that their efforts when made transparently would receive the necessary acknowledgment.  She also called on the MMDCEs to use the prototype designs of the Judicial Service in constructing Court buildings for the Judiciary and also consider providing solar energy to ensure Courts function efficiently without power interruptions.

Justice S. A Brobbey

A retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen A. Brobbey, who was the Guest speaker reiterated the call by the Chief Justice to support the Courts. “Service to the Courts is self-service”, Thus, it is very important for every district to have a Court, as the Lower Courts help guarantee access to justice at the district level, thus making justice delivery readily available and to prevent individuals from taking the law into their hands”, he said. 

Judicial Secretary

The Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong stated that the theme for the Forum was motivated by the Chief Justice’s tour across the country, which brought to the fore the deplorable state of most Courts and lack of accommodation for Judges and Magistrates.

The Chief Justice’s Annual Forum aims at providing valuable feedback for enhancing the quality of justice delivery to all persons.

The Royal Danish Embassy

The Deputy Head of Mission of the Royal Danish Embassy, Mr. Peter Eilschow Olesen commended the Chief Justice on the choice of theme for the Forum, as it brought attention to the issues that affect justice delivery at the local level. He appealed to the Judicial Service to find innovative ways of generating funds to sustain and improve on its activities since the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) will be winding up its activities by the end of the year. 

DANIDA has over the years supported the Judicial Service on projects and programmes such as the Justice for All Programme (JFAP), the Chief Justice’s Annual Mentoring Programme, the Chief Justice’s Forum and Judicial Outreach. 

Present at the Forum were representatives from the MMDAs across the country, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ghana Bar Association, the Judiciary and the Judicial Service.

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