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31.03.2005 General News

Ghana Hosts First Ever CMJA Confab

By GNA
Accra, March 31, GNA - Mr Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah on Thursday inaugurated a 10-member Planning Committee tasked to host this year's Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA) Council Meeting and Conference scheduled to take place in Accra. Mr Justice Sule N. Gbedegbe, a Court of Appeal Judge, chairs the Committee.
The conference, scheduled for July 31 to August 4, 2005, has the theme: "Judicial reforms within the Commonwealth. The impact, driving force and the future."
Over 300 delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and the Gambia are expected to attend.
It would also attract members from the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Region, the East, Central and Southern African Regions.
The conference dubbed "CMJA 2005" is jointly organized by the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana, the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association in collaboration with the Judicial Service of Ghana.
It is expected to evaluate and discuss challenges facing the judiciary, techniques in minimizing delays in court proceedings, continuing judicial education and reforms among other things.
Mr Justice Acquah, who is also an honorary Chairman of the Committee, said CMJA held the pride of place since it was the only body in the world that promoted judicial systems under one umbrella. He said the CMJA, established in 1970, had also evolved programmes of creating and maintaining a healthy working relationship between the three arms of government adding it also policed the performances of members of the judiciaries.
"All this is calculated to promote judicial ethics and independence," he declared.
Touching on the theme for the conference, the Chief Justice said the theme was dear to the heart of the Ghana's Judiciary adding; "no organization can stand the test of time without undergoing reforms". Mr Justice Acquah noted that judicial reforms did not only address deficiencies in the administration of justice but it also augured well for the country's growth.
He noted that Ghana inherited her legal systems from the English Common Law, but said the application of the Common Law varied from country to country depending on the customary law practices that were peculiar to each country.
"It is to underscore this fact that a conference such as the one we are launching today where experiences of the respective Commonwealth countries are presented, analysed and where possible adopted becomes essentially relevant."
Justice Margaret Insaidoo, a High Court Judge and member of CMJA, said Ghana had seen the strengthening of existing structure and was redesigning the courts as well as offering varied programmes to personnel in order to provide a more efficient and effective administration of justice.
Highlighting the programme of the conference, Justice Insaidoo said the conference would afford the delegates the opportunity to listen to eminent personalities from countries such as Canada and The Gambia.


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