Judicial Service Employs Solar Power Usage

The Judicial Service has earned a mark for itself as the first arm of government and public service institution to make use of solar power energy, thereby reducing the reliance on conventional electricity supply.

According to Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, solarisation of Courts is in line with her vision “to achieve a fully integrated court system through the application of Information Communication Technology to achieve energy efficiency and independence to assure the seamless operation of the courts in our automation strategy”.

The Chief Justice was speaking at the inauguration of a Solar Power System at the High and District Courts in Winneba, in the Central Region of Ghana.

Justice Sophia Akuffo further noted that the event “marks the beginning of a programme to provide our Courts with renewable sustainable energy by harnessing the power of one of the most, if not the most plentiful and most source of power, which is the sun, to assure energy independence, in our quest to assure quality justice delivery, make justice accessible to Ghana’s citizens, and oil the wheels of justice to deliver it more speedily and efficiently”.

The installation of the 22.26 watt peak PV Plant at the Winneba High Court and District Court Complex was undertaken by Wilkins Engineering, with a thirty-nine thousand (39,000) Australian dollar project funding support from the Australian High Commission to Ghana.

The Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Andrew Barnes, said that the provision of a reliable power supply was especially important as Ghana moved towards the digitization of its judicial records. Therefore, “by ensuring a reliable power supply, the solarisation of the Winneba Court will help the Judges and staff to continue with their important work without interruption. In doing so, it will increase the capacity of Ghana’s Judiciary to implement the rule of law to the benefit of the  local community, generate financial savings by cutting cost on power bills and allow these savings to be directed to other critical areas”.

He was grateful to the Chief Justice for the choice of Australia as a partner in her quest to solarise Courts in the country.

Senior Counsel at the World Bank, Dr. Nightingale Rukuba-Ngaiza was positive about a boost in judicial confidence and accessibility by the people in the community. “Having solar power in the Courts enables the Courts to function. The Judges can record proceedings which can expedite access to justice since the services now are closer to the people and they would not need to go to Accra to access justice. If the High Court in Winneba has solar power, it means justice will come closer to this community”, she said.

The Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency, Mr. Afenyo Markin, appealed to the Chief Justice to provide the Constituency with a Circuit Court to make complete the hierarchy of Courts, which had the Circuit Court in between the  the District and High Courts. 

 

Project Background

The Judicial Service in collaboration with the Australian High Commission under its Direct Aid Programme, agreed in February 2018, to conduct a pilot project selecting three (3) Courts to solarise, with the Winneba High Court and District Court selected as the first in the pilot project. Weija Circuit and District Court Complex will be next to be solarised, with Sege District Court as the other selected to complete the pilot project. It is expected that the nationwide programme will be completed within five (5) years, and all MMDCE’s are encouraged to support this important initiative.

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