You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2015 04 02Article 352868

Opinions of Thursday, 2 April 2015

Columnist: Antwi-Otoo, Kwaku

Justice now for sale in Ghana?

A statesman has described as wicked and barbaric the decision by the Attorney General, Judicial Service and Parliamentary to approve a law to increase court charges.

Mr. Joshua Attoh Quarshie has also described the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Woode as "uncaring" as she sit for the courts charges to be review upwards while the masses suffers.

The Judicial Service in the month of February increased the court fees between 50 and 300 hundred percent.

The move follows the recent Parliamentary approval of CI 86 which spells out the various charges approved for the courts under the law.

Under the review, fees of filing notice of appeal against a final judgment or decision jumped from GHC25.00 to GHC 100.00, the cost of filing amendment or additional grounds of appeal has also been increased from GHC25.00 to GHC100.00 and the fees for filing motion to set aside and re-hear appeal determined by an ex-party was increased from GHC 30.00 to GHC 300.00.

At the Supreme Court, a petition to challenge election of President jumped from GHC 500.00 to GHC 5,000.00, a service document which use to cost GHC50.00 will now attract a fee of GHC200.00 and filing of statement of case has also been increased from GHC 25.00 to GHC 300 and a search at the Supreme Court which used to cost GHC5.00 will now attract a fee of GHC 50.00.

Speaking in an interview with the paper on the charges, Mr. Attoh Quarshie observed that the new charges will bring additional hardship to clients and subsequently affect justice delivery in the country.

He said already corruption in the judiciary is high and with this increment, most people who are the poor are not going to have access to justice because they have no money to pay for various charges and as such the rich will keep winning cases through the influence of money.

Mr. Attoh called on the CJ to stand by her promise at Takoradi that she is going to eradicate corruption from the judiciary since this review will rather increase corruption in the system.

"The God fearing old judicial system created legal aid to offer free legal services at the advantage of the poor, but today, the suppression of increment will strengthen the hands of cheats and rich people against the poor which is unfortunate situation".

Mr. Attoh Quarshie called for the re-examination of the law critically and make amendment with immediate effect.