CJ Receives African-American Delegation
6/14/2010 8:51:08 PM -
A 30-member delegation of African-Americans from Georgia, in the United States of America, yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood. The delegation, led by Ms. Xernona Clayton, is in Ghana to inaugurate the Xernona Clayton School, a primary school which she established at Twima-Heman in the Ashanti region.
Ms. Clayton is a Civil Rights Icon and Special Assistant to Martin Luther King Jnr and his Wife Coretta Scott King.
She is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Trumpet Awards that celebrate African-American achievements.
In a statement to welcome the delegation, Mrs. Justice Wood appraised the visitors of new developments in the justice delivery system of Ghana.
Mrs. Justice Wood said, because the adversarial system of adjudication has not been able to fully serve the needs of society, the Judicial Service of Ghana has initiated a policy directive by which Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has become embodied in the country's justice delivery system.
Also briefing the delegation was Mr. Justice Samuel Marful Sau, Justice of the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Justice Sau added his voice to that of the Chief Justice, noting that out of 5,000 cases referred for resolution through the ADR mechanism, 3,204, representing over 70 per cent, have been successfully settled.
Mr. Justice Sau said that the success of the ADR mechanism notwithstanding, there are daunting challenges such as inadequate remuneration for mediators and lack of conference rooms for parties to settle and resolve the issues at stake.
Ms. Sandra Thompson, Director of Judicial Reform, also gave an overview of the various reforms embarked upon by the Judicial Service.
Ms. Thompson disclosed that the Judicial Service is in the process of establishing a Family and Juvenile Justice System, the construction of a 34-court room complex and the establishment of a Judicial Training Institute.
She said, the Family Justice Centre will be established to handle cases involving victims of gender violence, juvenile offenders and their victims, and that the Department of Social Welfare and the services of psychologists will be utilised to make the centre function effectively.
In her closing remarks, Mrs. Justice Wood called for support for the Centre which, she said, will serve as a model for the rest of Africa.