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25.11.2007 General News

Chief Justice calls for expansion of private bailiff concept

Chief Justice calls for expansion of private bailiff concept

Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, on Saturday directed that the Court Process Scheme (CPS) should be extended to circuit and district courts across the country.

The programme, which began in 2004, was to ensure that private bailiffs provide efficient services to the court process in order to enhance the justice delivery system.

Some of the High Courts, which started with the Court Process Servers programme included Accra, Tema, Koforidua, Kumasi, Cape Coast, Takoradi and Ho.

Mr. Justice Samuel Manful-Sau, an Appeal Court Judge and Chairman of the Private Bailiff Certification Board (PBCB) announced this at a day's review meeting for Court Process Servers (CPS) in Accra.

The meeting, which attracted participants from registered private bailiff organisations, was to appraise the performance of these companies over the year as well as renewing the licences of members.

He said the idea for the setting-up of the CPS was not to do away with the traditional bailiffs at the various courts, but rather to enhance efficiency and bring effectiveness into the justice delivery system.

He said the traditional court bailiffs would continue to serve the Attorney General's Department, Legal Aid Board, Registrar General's Department and the Land Title Registration Department since they would not pay any fee charges.

He said despite few challenges that the programme faces feedback from the various regions showed that the scheme had been successful.

Ms. Justice Sophia Akuffo, a Supreme Court Judge with Oversight Responsibilities for the CPS stated that the CPS had always been a key part of the justice delivery service of the courts.

"Without the court process service you cannot have justice and democracy in the system," she added.

She also called on the private bailiff companies to stop their staff from demanding money from litigants.

She urged them to ensure constant education and monitoring of their staff.

She said the companies should not allow their field officers to get too much contact with the litigants, which she said would not augur well for the court process.

Ms. Justice Akuffo also stated that the quality of justice system has to do with the having a good and efficient CPS in the country, adding that quality justice is what assures the people of peace and justice in the society.

Mr. Prosper Adeti, Director of Finance, Judicial Service of Ghana called on the private bailiff companies to have constant touch with the judicial registry for reconciliation of their accounts.