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24.12.2008 Crime & Punishment

Justices tour regions to implement Road Traffic Amendment Act

By GNA
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Three teams from the judiciary led by three justices of the superior courts are in the regions to see to the speedy implementation of the Chief Justice's directives on the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2008 that reduced the penalty of traffic offences.

A statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, Judicial Secretary, said the teams were to take Supervising High Court judges through the process of varying, where appropriate, the sentences under the repealed law meted out by the district courts in their areas of jurisdiction since October 3 when the amended law came into effect.

It said the Supervising High Court judges had been directed by the Chief Justice to exercise the jurisdiction and powers under the Courts Act such that all sentences passed from October 3, which were at variance with the provision of the new law (Act 761) would be varied accordingly.

The first team led by Mr Justice S.A. Brobbey, a Supreme Court judge, has visited Ho where it met the Supervising High Court judge and other judges in the Volta Region to work out the modalities of the exercise.

The second team led by Mr Justice Jones Dotse, a Supreme Court judge, has been in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo.

Judges in the Brong Ahafo region would be joined by the Supervising High Court judge from the Northern Region.

The third team, led by Mr Justice Clemence Honyenuga, an Appeals Court judge, with additional responsibility as a High Court judge to revise sentences of the repealed Road Traffic law, has also met judges in the Central and Western Regions in Cape Coast and Sekondi respectively.

Meanwhile, the statement said, Mr Justice Honyenuga had so far dealt with 21 motor cases from the District Motor courts in Accra.

The statement said he had varied some of the sentences and in other cases, has considered the judgements as well as the charges there as illegal.

The Chief Justice on December 14 issued directives to all Supervising High Court judges in the regions to discontinue applying penalties and sanctions under the Road Traffic Act 2004, Act 683, which had since October 3, 2008 been amended by the passage of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2008, Act 761.

It said the Judicial Service had taken steps to promptly furnish judges and magistrates with copies of new laws passes to avert such situation in the future.

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