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Shy away from 'ambush trial'- Chief Justice

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood Friday called for a departure from “ambush trials” and the adoption of innovative trial processes to speed up justice delivery.

Some of our sister jurisdictions have moved on and banished what is known as “ambush trials,” the Chief Justice said.

Mrs Wood was speaking at the opening of a stakeholder’s forum on the use of statements by witnesses and Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs) in trial processes, in Accra.

The event that was sponsored by the Land Administration Project (LAP II), was to find effective ways of improving court processes, enhancing adjudication through the practice of court connected ADR and the use of Written Witness Statement in land use adjudication.

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Mrs Wood said the judiciary must not shy away from making demonstrably beneficial changes in the conduct of its affairs so long as justice would be achieved and not in any way compromised.

She said though Ghana was not bound by foreign decisions, “we are often guided by precedents from our brother and sister judges of different jurisdictions. Our judiciary is thus not closed-minded to comparative experience and best practice.”

Mrs Wood charged the judiciary to provide quality and well-thought judgments, which should be timely to ensure justice delivery in the country.

She said, “delays in trials and the management of cases as they proceed in the course of trial have implications for the justice delivery system.”

Dr Odame Larbi, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, said the Commission was supporting the judiciary through LAP programme, to strengthen its capacity in land matters.

He said the delays in adjudicating land cases negatively affect the country’s developmental and investments.

Dr Larbi said the mainstreaming of Court ADRs in land cases would help to reduce land disputes and ensure speedy land adjudication in the country.

From: GNA



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