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Ghana Reinforces Rule of Law with New Judicial Complex

President Akufo-Addo Commits to Transparency and Justice

by Victor Adetimilehin

In a significant development for Ghana’s legal landscape, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inaugurated the Law House Building Complex in Accra, designed to serve as a bastion of justice and due process. This ten-story building, strategically located near the Courts Complex and opposite the Customs Division headquarters of the Ghana Revenue Authority, began its journey 24 years ago when President Akufo-Addo himself was the Minister of Justice.

The new complex houses the Attorney-General’s office, and his deputies, and includes facilities such as 130 offices, a large conference room, a canteen, two libraries, and dedicated spaces for pupils, interns, and researchers. With a kitchenette and areas for social gatherings, the building is poised to become a central hub for Ghana’s legal community.

Safeguarding Democracy

During the inauguration, President Akufo-Addo emphasized that his administration would not compromise the nation’s peace, stability, and reputation as a beacon of democracy in Africa, even amid election tensions. He stressed the importance of adhering to the rule of law, ensuring that all allegations of corruption are met with due process and evidence before any judgment is passed.

The President recalled a pivotal moment from the 1960s, shared by his father, which underscored the enduring value of legal justice in safeguarding individual liberties. He referenced the historical context of the special criminal courts established during the Nkrumah regime, which were initially intended to consolidate power but ultimately upheld the principles of fairness and justice.

Since assuming office in 2017, President Akufo-Addo has significantly bolstered Ghana’s judicial infrastructure. His administration has completed the construction of 79 courthouses and 121 residential accommodations for judges, enhancing the safety and working conditions of legal professionals across the country. These facilities are not only functional but are also equipped with essential social amenities, promoting a conducive environment for judicial duties.

Digital Transformation in the Judicial Process

Another key focus of the administration has been the digitization and modernization of Ghana’s legal and judicial systems. President Akufo-Addo proudly detailed the successful integration of electronic filing systems, which have reduced dependency on paper-based documentation. This shift not only expedites the processing of cases but also fosters greater transparency and accountability within the judiciary.

The Legal Aid Commission, previously constrained by inadequate resources, has seen a substantial increase in operational capacity, growing from six vehicles to a fleet of 115. Looking ahead, the Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, outlined plans for constructing modern office buildings for regional legal services, potentially funded through collaborations with international organizations like the World Bank.

The Minister also shared intentions to replace the current offices housing the Council for Law Reporting and Legal Aid with more modern facilities, ensuring that these essential services are housed in structures befitting their noble purposes.

Source: Graphic Online

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