Fund E-Justice Project to Speed Up Justice Delivery

A Supreme Court Judge nominee, Justice Agnes Mercy Abla Dordzie has called on government to ensure adequate funding for the new e-justice system being piloted at the Law Court Complex in Accra and roll it out across the country to improve access, timely and quality justice delivery.

Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee, following her nomination to the Supreme Court, Justice Dordzie said the Paperless Courts would help address the delays in Court processes, loss of documentation (dockets), duplication of suit numbers and other related problems that confront the Courts.

She also expressed concern about the quality of investigations conducted by the police before prosecution, adding that the kind of police investigators she worked with in her days in Koforidua are admirable and worth emulating by present investigators.

She further advised the police to “sit up and do more thorough investigation which should be supervised before handing over to any prosecutor”.

Responding to a question on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the nominee said ADR is very important as it helps in reducing the number of trial cases at the Courts.                                      

The ADR program is on and I think we need to educate the public and Lawyers so they take advantage of the ADR in the Courts rather than resorting to the traditional litigation process that goes on now,” she added.

Justice Agnes Dordzie also called for the scrapping of the death penalty out of the statute books, since it has not been used almost two decades now.

Justice Dordzie, a Justice of the Court of Appeal was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Akufo-Addo along with Justice Samuel Kofi Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal, Professor Nii Ashie Kotey and Nene Abayaateye Ofoe Amegatcher who have been vetted by Parliament.

During his vetting, the former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) Nene Abayaateye Ofoe Amegatcher supported Justice Dordzie’s call to scrap the death penalty from the statute books.

Nene Amegatcher urged Parliament to amend the provision in the Constitution and abolish the death penalty on the condition that “when a person is sentenced to death then recession, pardon or parole is out of the question”.

Nene Amegatcher defended the current number of the Supreme Court Justices although Article 128 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana gives a minimum of nine Justices at the Supreme Court without a maximum number or limit.

“Limiting the number would create problems because for instance if two of the nominees are coming from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court they may have judgments that people will be appealing against and when these judgments are placed before the Court and they are part of the limited number it would create problems,“ he said.

This comes after claims that ruling governments abuse the provision in the Constitution and appoint Justices who will favour them.

The President made the Supreme Court nominations pursuant to Article 144(2) of the Constitution, upon the Judicial Council’s advice and in consultation with the Council of State.

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