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04.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

Government to computerise District Magistrate's Courts

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Accra, March 4, GNA - The Government has provided 2.7 billion cedis for the computerisation of a District Magistrate's Court in each of the 10 regions in the country as part of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).

It is also contributing 540 million cedis for the furnishing of six District Magistrate's Courts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions that were refurbished and computerised by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

President John Agyekum Kufuor announced this when he unveiled a plaque to inaugurate a two-million-dollar three storey Commercial Courts Building Complex for the Judicial Service in Accra on Friday. The six Courts with the status of a High Court were designed, constructed and furnished by DANIDA to promote efficient, speedy and effective determination of commercial disputes.

President Kufuor said the country's Judicial System must respond to the age of technology to be able to dispense justice expeditiously. He said the Government had, therefore, in this year's national budget, allocated 20 billion cedis to the Service to meet its capital expenditure to complete some ongoing projects.

These are the Administration Block for the Supreme Court in Accra, the Court Complexes in Wa and Ho, the Circuit and Magistrate's Courts complex at Bawku and the start-up of the Court of Appeal Complex in Kumasi.

President Kufuor said the establishment of the Commercial Courts would lead to a speedy resolution of commercial disputes in the country that would in turn increase the confidence of investors and entrepreneurs, who were steadily making in-roads into the country's economic development.

He said investors preferred countries where there was stability and the Rule of Law was guaranteed, adding: "A strong and independent Judiciary, well resourced and properly motivated is, therefore, a foundation for the attainment of a vibrant and development-oriented private sector.

"A Judicial System which has the confidence of its citizens and foreigners alike is a strong pillar for good governance," he said. President Kufuor said it was for these reasons that the Government even in the face of current economic difficulties was making every effort on its own and with the active participation and assistance of friendly donor countries to resource the Judiciary with appropriate structures and equipment.

Mr Justice George Kingsley Acquah, Chief Justice, appealed to parties, litigants and Lawyers to desist from employing delay tactics to frustrate the process of the Courts.

He said the Courts worked strictly according to prescribed time and no adjournments would be entertained, neither could the judges and the supporting staff alone work to realise its noble objective, unless all the parties before it played their respective roles properly and honestly for the Courts to grow to become a model commercial court in Africa. 04 March 05