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10.04.2008 General News

Saturday weekend court sittings in full session - Official

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Mr Abdullah Iddrisu, Acting Judicial Secretary, on Wednesday said contrary to reports by a section of the media, the Judicial Service began the Saturday weekend courts sittings in Accra last Saturday, April 5, 2008 at the premises of the District and Juvenile Courts near the Ministries.

He said Judges and Magistrates, as well as other court officials, including the staff of the Judicial Service of Ghana, were present at the scheduled time and the courts dealt with the cases that were put before them.

Mr Iddrisu said in a statement on Wednesday that 100 cases were mentioned and adjourned for hearing to start on April 12, 2008. The cases were adjourned to enable the prosecutors and court officials to serve hearing notices for the next sitting of the Courts.

It is scheduled that the courts sit from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Saturday, to deal with specific cases such as Domestic Violence, Revenue and other monetary claims by state agencies.

He stated that five courts – two circuit and three magistrate – out of the 57 Courts in Accra were involved in the sittings. Depending on its success, the exercise will be extended to the other regions.

Mr Iddrisu said the object of the Saturday weekend court sittings was to clear the backlog of cases before the courts, which was a source of worry and concern, not only to the Judicial Service but to the people who access the Courts.

He said the Chief Justice was spearheading a series of measures to address the problem of backlog of cases. The number of Courts and Judges/Magistrates is to be increased.

The Acting Judicial Secretary said the operation of the weekend Courts was being done under Order 79 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (C.I.47) which allowed any day, including vacations to be appointed for the hearing of cases or matters as circumstances required, and Section 31 of the Courts and Ordinance (CAP 4), which allowed any day to be appointed for sittings at the Lower Courts.

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