The Honorific Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and a Justice of the Court of Appeal, Professor Justice Sir Dennis Adjei, has suggested to the Judicial Service of Ghana to consider authorizing the hearing of some cases and the conduct of some trials through electronic platforms and internet-based applications as a stop-gap measure to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Professor Justice Sir Dennis Adjei made the call when he delivered via Zoom, the maiden lecture of the fourteen (14) week long “Law and Ethics Web Series”, under the theme, “Covid-19, Legal Practice and its implications for Judicial Decision Making” which is being organized jointly by the African Centre on Law and Ethics (ACLE) and the African Centre of International Criminal Justice (ACICJ), both based at the GIMPA Faculty of Law.
“Doctors are working, Engineers are working, Lecturers are teaching online, so Judges too must deliver and the Courts must work.
“In the phase of Covid-19, every institution must work but we must observe physical distancing and where you can use internet facility to achieve the purpose of your work, you must use it, Prof. Justice Sir Dennis Adjei said.
The learned Justice of the Court of Appeal observed that there are a few laws on the statute books of the country that would have to be amended to accommodate his suggestion of online adjudication of Court cases.
“We should look at order 33 of CI 47 which requires the Court to provide for a place of trial. It could be amended to include any other electronic mode that the Court may determine and not a physical place as in the Courtroom” Justice Dennis Adjei proposed.
Justice Dennis Adjei further observed that “order 36 of the High Court civil procedure rules, CI 47, which requires parties to attend trial in person and failure of which attracts sanctions could also be amended to make video link or any other digital means to amount to physical appearance”.
The Law and Ethics Web Series
The Law and Ethics Web Series is expected to be held every Wednesday at 2pm beginning from the 6th of May 2020 on the online meeting platform, Zoom. The pending presentations on May 13, May 20, May 27, Jun 3, Jun 10, Jun 17, Jun 24, Jul 1, Jul 8, Jul 15, Jul 22, Jul 29, and Aug 5, 2020 will come on as scheduled.
Interested persons may join any of the upcoming sessions by visiting the Zoom application and using the Webinar ID: 848-2795-0621 and Password: 550458.
Various speakers have been lined up for the exercise by the organizers. The series is being coordinated by Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Budu, a Lecturer and Head of Law Centers at the GIMPA Faculty of Law. The maiden session was moderated by Ms. Diana Asonaba Dapaah, also a Lecturer at the GIMPA Faculty of Law, under the distinguished patronage of the Rector of GIMPA, Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson.