Accra now has a specialised court to solely prosecute motor traffic offenders to bring about enhanced traffic discipline on the roads in the country.
The establishment of the court is to isolate the prosecution of motor traffic cases from other criminal cases in the courts to ensure the speedy and efficient adjudication of motor traffic cases.
The first attempt of such a court was botched in the 1970s when the Trades Union Congress building being used for that purpose was taken away from the Judicial Service.
After that there was no alternative room for that court and it was abandoned. Inaugurating the court yesterday at the Regional Tribunal premises, the Chief Justice, Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, was appalled by the inadequate infrastructure of the service and the poor environment under which judges and other staff operated.
He, therefore, used the presence of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey, to draw attention to the problems of the judiciary and prayed for assistance to promote a healthy and speedy adjudication of justice in the country.
The target of the service, he said, was to ensure that working conditions in the judiciary were improved to encourage the workers to give of their best, saying “Let us pray that a little attention is given to the judiciary to motivate the workers” to ensure justice for all.
Mr Justice Acquah stated, for instance, that the efficiency of the Fast Track Court and Commercial Court systems had been due to the availability of resources and that was what was needed in the entire Judicial Service.
He said the wish of the judiciary was to have more motor courts established but that was being hampered by the lack of funding.
“The inability to re-open or re-establish the motor court until now is not due to the shirking of responsibility by the service”, he said, and added that the issue of magistrates or judges to handle motor offences had not been a problem for the service.
The Chief Justice urged the district, metropolitan and municipal assemblies as well as the regional co-ordinating councils to provide the service with the requisite structures to assist in the effective administration of justice in their localities.
He, however, reminded them that notwithstanding their duty to provide those facilities, that responsibility did not empower any assembly, individual or group of individuals to attempt to direct or control the magistrates in the performance of their judicial functions.
Story by Stephen Sah