Ghana merge lower courts to aid conflict resolution among small businesses
London, Nov. 30, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The Judicial Service in Ghana has begun a process to merge lower courts in the country by making district and circuit courts operate under the same jurisdiction.
The Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, who made this known in Accra said a draft bill for the proposed merger had already been sent to the Presidency for Executive consideration.
She explained that the merger would help provide effective judicial services for people in remote areas and small business owners who often had to resort to the High Courts located in the regional capitals.
“There is the need for the setting up of small claims courts and the utilisation of lower courts for that purpose across the country to handle the myriad of challenges faced by our small and medium enterprises. It will also help resolve business issues, including the enforcement of contracts, in addition to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process,” Justice Akuffo added.
The Chief Justice was speaking at the Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) Master-class programme on a new Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992).
The programme is aimed at educating business executives and professionals including lawyers, Ghana courts on progressive business reforms contained in the new act which was passed into law after years of advocacy by individuals and professional bodies, with GARIA leading the charge.
The Chief Justice explained that companies’ legislation was key for the creation of the conducive environment needed for businesses to thrive in a country.
She said such legislation provided the framework within which companies were formed, financed and managed for the benefit of various stakeholders and the economy, adding: “It governs the right relationship and conduct of stakeholders.”
According to her, the Companies Act would help ensure that Ghana became a business destination of choice and also realised its goal of being among the leading nations with the ease of doing business