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General News of Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Source: GNA

Chief Justice attends roundtable on women in US

Accra, March 30, GNA - The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, leaves for the US on an official engagement from March 29 96 April 2.

Mrs Wood is travelling with five female judges comprising two circuit court judges and three magistrates to attend the 2011 Senior Roundtable on Women and the Judiciary in Washington, D.C. A statement issued by Mrs Grace Tagoe, Director of Communications of the Judiciary Service in Accra said the roundtable would convene 50 women judges representing more than 20 countries from all regions of the world, including Africa Asia, Europe and the Americas to discuss sustainable development issues and women's participation in the judiciary.

The conference is being organised by the Virtue Foundation, a global non-governmental organisation, in partnership with the Avon Global Centre for Women and Justice at the Cornell Law School in the US. The Chief Justice Wood is a member of the Steering Committee of the centre.

After the roundtable, Mrs Wood will return to Ghana, however, the five female judges, will enrol in a competitive four-week Jurists-In-Residence programme organised by the foundation in collaboration with the Leitner Centre for International Law and Justice at the Fordham Law School and the Office of Court Administration of New York.

The judges will observe problem-solving courts, such as the Manhattan Integrated Domestic Court in New York and the Drugs Court. Each of the judges will be paired with a judge presiding over a problem-solving court to provide mentoring and guidance on working effectively and efficiently in these courts. They would receive training in legal research, opinion writing and case management to enable them to efficiently and effectively run their courts.

Additionally, the jurists will receive training on how to establish and manage a problem-solving court to adapt the experiences and successes in New York to the local context in Ghana. The goal will be to train the judges towards the establishment and implementation of a Family Justice Centre in Ghana, a brain-child of Chief Justice Wood.

Virtue foundation is offering the support to female judges to facilitate the belief that investing in women and girls has an incredible 93multiplier effect" for community economic and social advancement.

"The foundation and its partners recognise the important role that judges, especially women judges, can play in strengthening the rule of law both through their contributions to an impartial judiciary as well as through their role in the implementation and enforcement of laws, particularly those that provide access to justice for women and girls. "The foundation is also pursuing a Women Judges in the Pipeline Initiative to offer support to women judges who are strong leaders and agents of change toward improving access to justice, rule of law, and sustainable development.=A0 In particular, this initiative seeks to identify obstacles and offer practical solutions to increasing women's participation in judiciaries throughout the world, including Ghana," the statement said.

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