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30.10.2008 General News

Ghanaians want justice that is efficient, fair and effective - Kufuor


President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged the Judiciary to be always mindful of the public's demand for justice that was efficient, fair and effective.

The transparency, fairness and speed with which cases were dealt with by the courts, and the effectiveness of the outcomes, he said, were the standards by which quality of justice was measured.

President Kufuor made the call when he inaugurated the Judicial Service Administration Block and a Financial and Land Investment Court Complex in Accra on Thursday.

These edifices come as big relief to the country's judiciary bedevilled with severe accommodation shortages for decades.

The Administration Block was started about a decade ago while the Financial and Investment Court building to house five land courts, a human rights court, an industrial (labour) court, and two courts to handle financial cases, took a year to complete.

President Kufuor described as commendable the judiciary's efforts towards establishing specialized courts.

This, he said, was a key strategy for decongesting the courts and to help speed up the administration of justice.

He said he was confident that as the judiciary continued to pursue its comprehensive reform and modernization programme, Ghanaians would see a new and highly respected system of justice delivery.

President Kufuor said in the discharge of their respective functions, the three arms of government were inextricably linked and as such must support each other.

To facilitate this process, the Commonwealth Law Ministers have since November, 2002, come out with a set of guidelines on best practices that should govern the relations between the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary in promoting good governance, the rule of law and human rights.

He encouraged the leadership of the judiciary to commit itself fully to the guidelines referred to as “Latimer House Principles”, and adopt it as blueprint for enhancing accountability, transparency and integrity in the judicial system and for ensuring stability, economic growth and development within the country.

Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood noted that more court houses and accommodation for judges would ensure that Ghanaians had access to justice.

She announced that a state-of-the-art Appeal Court building constructed in Kumasi would be inaugurated next month and conveyed appreciation to the Government for the attention and support it was giving to the judiciary's infrastructure development.

Mr Joe Ghartey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said the new court buildings represented a strong and independent future of a judiciary, which Ghana would continue to be proud of.