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16.03.2006 General News

Ministry of Lands and Forestry donate to the Judiciary

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Accra, March 16, GNA - The Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines on Thursday presented 20 computers with its accessories to the Chief Justice, Justice George Kinsley Acquah for use by the judiciary in the administration of cases involving land. The donation on behalf of the Land Administration Project (LAP) of the Ministry was aimed at achieving early resolution of land disputes that constituted the bulk of cases in the courts. The computers and its accessories included 20 uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units and four laser printers

Presenting the items, Professor Dominic Fobih, Sector Minister, said the Judiciary, which had a pivotal role in the Land Administration Project, needed to be resourced adequately to enable it to play its role effectively. He said during the project preparation, it was discovered that land dispute adjudication in Ghana was fraught with long delays and a growing backlog of cases. Additionally, more than 35,000 land disputes were pending before the courts, he said. Prof Fobih said the frustration that litigants, investors and the public at large went through, often led to loss of public confidence in the judicial system and encouraged the resort to self-help and vigilantism. He said one of the objectives of the Project was to provide resource to the judiciary to clear the backlog of cases adding that alternative methods of disputes resolution would be encouraged. He expressed the hope that the initial contribution from the Project would enable the Judiciary to achieve its avowed aim of facilitating the expeditious adjudication of cases, particularly those involving land.

Receiving the computers, Justice Acquah thanked Prof Fobih for the gesture saying that the problem of the Judiciary in keeping records and making adjudication transparent would be enhanced. He said it was to ensure the rapid adjudication of cases that the Magistrates' Courts have been set up with the passing out of 27 Magistrates in 2004 with another 45 to pass out in October, 2006. He said The Ministry of Justice had presented a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for the building of a three storey-eight-room court that would be used for investors, who had cases involving land to settle at the courts.