The Court of Appeal in Kumasi has commenced operation following its inauguration by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood.
The land and commercial courts began business immediately. Until October, when permanent judges would be appointed, Justices Stephen Kanyoke, Isaac Duose and Mariama Owusu, will be in charge of affairs.
The Kumasi Court of Appeal complex was inaugurated by former President J.A. Kufuor in November 2008, to particularly, ease the travelling problems of litigants and their lawyers from the northern sector of the country to Accra.
The Chief Justice announced that in a few weeks, specialised courts, namely, additional commercial, land, human rights, industrial or labour courts and a court to deal with financial related matters (cases arising under the Financial Tribunal Act) would also commence business. Mrs Justice Wood said justice could only benefit the people if it was exercised in their interest "that is when justice is made accessible to them"
She urged lawyers and their clients to avail themselves of the options offered by the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism for the amicable resolution of disputes, saying after formal judgment by even the highest court of the land, parties could compromise the judgment delivered.
The Chief Justice advised that section 72(1) and (2) of the Courts Act 1993, (Act 459) might be usefully employed to resolve some of the appeals that might find their way into the court and expressed the hope that the Bar would co-operate fully with the Bench to ensure expeditious and fair trials.
"With the support of all stakeholders, judges, lawyers, litigants, Nananom, opinion leaders and the judicial service staff, we will all reap the enormous benefits that come with the citing of an appellate court and specialised courts in this part of our country."