19.01.2008 General News

Courts Must Treat Child Victims With Compassion - CJ

19.01.2008 LISTEN

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, yesterday urged judges to treat child victims and delinquent children from broken homes with sensitivity and compassion. She said the courts were meant to serve the needs of all citizens, in particular women and children, who were the most vulnerable.

Mrs Georgina Wood was speaking at the commissioning of a cluster of four District and Juvenile Courts in Accra. The new courts paved the way for the judiciary to respond to the needs of juvenile justice which dealt with criminal cases involving juveniles as perpetrators.

Mrs Georgina Wood said families, most often were unhappy with the justice system with matters related to dispute-divorce, distribution of property, domestic abuse, custody of, access to and resources for children, neglect, delinquency and related issues around child maintenance and support.

Court ruling in such cases sometimes did not find favour with parents, guardians or the parties and they thus seek to settle their own disputes rather than filing for arbitrations.

Mrs Wood noted that, the Judicial Service recorded as many as 101,962 cases pending in the District Courts between 2005 / 2006. Greater Accra alone recorded 32,788 cases pending in July 2005 and 25,667 new cases.

She said the court would serve the purposes of family related disputes and also deal with civil and criminal cases involving juveniles under the Children's Act, 1998, (Act 560), and the Domestic Violence Act, 2007, (Act 732).

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