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COURTS ACT

      

ACT 459 ( 1993)

        

 

 

THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY-NINE

 

ACT

OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC

OF GHANA

 

ENTITLED

 

 

THE COURTS ACT, 1993

 

 

 

AN ACT to incorporate into the law relating to the courts, the provisions of chapter eleven of the Constitution; to provide for the jurisdiction of Regional Tribunals; to establish lower courts and tribunals, provide for their composition and jurisdiction; to consolidate and re - enact the Courts Act, 1971 and to provide for connected purposes.

 

DATE OF ASSENT: 6th July, 1993

 

BE IT ENACTED by Parliament as follows:

 

 

  PART I - SUPERIOR COURTS OF JUDICATURE

 

Sub Part I - The Supreme Court

  1.      (1) The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court.

 (2)          The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted for its work by not less than five Supreme Court Justices except as otherwise provided in section 7 of this Act.

(3)          The Chief Justice shall preside at sittings of the Supreme Court and in his absence, the most senior of the Justices of the Superior Court, as constituted, shall preside.

(4)    A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a justice of the Supreme Court unless he is of high moral character and proven integrity and is of not less than fifteen years' standing as a lawyer.

        2.          (1) The Supreme Court shall be the final court of appeal and shall have such appellate and other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by the Constitution or by any other law.

             (2) The Supreme Court shall not be bound to follow the decisions of any other court.

       (3)  The Supreme Court may, while treating its own previous decisions as nominally binding, depart from previous decision when it appears to it right to do so; and all her courts shall be bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court on

questions of law.

             

 

(4)          For  the purposes of hearing and determining a matter within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or the enforcement of a judgment or order made on any matter, and for the purposes of any other authority, expressly or by necessary implication given to the Supreme Court by the Constitution or any other law, the Supreme Court shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in any court established by the Constitution or any other law.

(5)         The determination of any question before the Supreme Court shall be in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the members hearing the case.

(6)         3.          (1) Subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court in the enforcement of the Fundamental Human Rights and freedoms as provided in article 33 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in-

             (a)          all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of the Constitution;

                           and

               b)          all matters arising as to whether an enactment was made

in excess of the powers conferred on Parliament or any other authority or person by law or under the Constitution.

(2)         Where an issue that relates to a matter or question referred to in subsection (1) of this section arises in any proceedings in a court other than the Supreme Court, that court shall stay the proceedings and refer the question of  law involved to the Supreme Court for determination; and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court

(3)          (1) An appeal shall lie from a judgment of the Court of appeal to the  Supreme Court

  

(a)          as of right in any civil or criminal cause or matter in respect of which an appeal has been brought to the Court of Appeal from a Judgment of the High Court or a Regional Tribunal in the exercise of its original jurisdiction;

 

(b)          with the leave of the Court Appeal, in any other cause or

matter, where the case was commenced in a court lower than the High Court or a Regional Tribunal and where the Court of Appeal is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law or is in the public interest;

  

(c)          as of right, in any cause or matter relating to the issue or

refusal of writ or order of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus, prohibition or quo warranto.

 

      2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the Supreme Court may entertain an application for special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in any cause or matter (including interlocutory matter) civil or criminal ,and may grant leave accordingly. ,

 

      (3)          The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, to the excursion of the Court of Appeal to determine matters relating to the conviction or other wise of a person for high treason or treason by the high Court.

 

        (4)  An appeal from a decision of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs shall lie to the Supreme Court. with the leave of that Judicial Committee or the Supreme Court.'

 

        (5) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, the Supreme Court shall not entertain any appeal unless the appellant has fulfilled all the conditions of appeal prescribed under the Rules of Court.

 5.      The  Supreme Court shall have supervisory jurisdiction over all courts and over any adjudicating authority and may, in the exercise of that supervisory jurisdiction, issue orders and directions including orders in the nature of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus, prohibition and quo warranto for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of its supervisory power.

       

  6.     (1) The Supreme Court may review any decision made or given by it on such grounds and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by rules of court.

             (2) The Supreme Court, when reviewing its decisions under this section, shall be constituted by not less than seven justices of the Supreme Court.

        

   7.    A single Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise power vested in the Supreme Court not involving the decision of a cause or matter before the Supreme Court except that -

 

      (a)          in criminal matters, where that Justice refuses or grants an application in the exercise of any such power, a person affected by it is entitled to have the application determined by the Supreme Court constituted by three Justices of the Supreme Court; and

      (b)          in civil matters, any order, direction or decision made or given under this section may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court, constituted by three Justices of the Supreme Court.

      

  8.   (1) The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether an official document shall not be produced in court because its production or the disclosure of its contents will be prejudicial to the security of the State or will be injurious to the public interest.

     

(2) Where any issue referred to in subsection (1) of this section arises as to the production or otherwise of an official document in any proceedings before any court, other than the Supreme Court ,the proceedings in that other court shall be suspended while the Supreme Court examines the document and determines whether the document should be produced or not ;and the Supreme Court shall make the appropriate order.

(3) The proceedings of the Supreme Court as to whether an official document may be produced shall be held in camera.

         

           (4) For the purpose of this section, the Supreme Court may -

                    (a) order any person or authority that has custody, legal or

          otherwise of the document to produce it; and any person so      

                       ordered shall produce the document for the purpose of   

                       inspection by the Supreme Court; and

          (b) determine whether or not the document shall be produced

          in the Court from which the reference was made after hearing

          the parties to it or their legal representatives or after having

          given them the opportunity of being heard.

 

(5)  Where the Supreme Court is of the opinion that the document should be produced it shall make an order that the person or authority that has custody of the document shall produce it or shall produce so much of the contents of it as is essential for the proceedings in accordance with the terms of the order.

 

(6)   Where the question of the production of an official document arises in any proceedings in the Supreme Court in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, the Supreme Court shall be governed, with such modifications as may be necessary, by the provisions of this section for the determination of the question that has arisen.

 

(7)  Where there is a doubt as to whether any document referred to in clause (2) of article 121 of the Constitution (which prohibits the production by public officers of certain documents in proceedings before the Parliament) is injurious to the public interest or prejudicial to the security of the State, the Speaker or the National Security Council as the case may be, shall refer the matter to the Supreme Court for determination by that Court whether the production or the disclosure of the contents of the document would be injurious to the public interest or prejudicial to the security of the state.

 

(8)  Sub sections (4) and (5) of this section shall, with such modifications as may be necessary, apply to a determination by the Supreme Court under subsection (7) as they apply to a determination under subsection (2) of this section.

   

9 Where a person has been convicted or sentenced for an offence by a court established  under this Act and a petition is presented to the President for the grant of the prerogative of mercy in respect of the conviction or sentence, the President may, except in the capital, sentence of death -

(a)  refer the whole case to the Supreme Court and the case

shall then be heard and determined by that court as in the case of an appeal by a person convicted; or

 

(b)   if the President desires the assistance of the Supreme Court on any point arising in the case with a view to the determination of the petition, refer that point to that Court for its opinion and the Supreme Court shall consider the point referred and famish the President with its opinion.

 

 b-Part II-Court of Appeal

 

10.     (1) The Court of Appeal shall consist of -

(a)          the Chief Justice;

(b)          subject to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, not less than ten Justices of the Court of Appeal; and

(c)          such other Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature as the Chief Justice may, for the determination of it, particular cause or matter by writing, signed by him, request to sit in the Court of Appeal for any specified period.

 

(2)  The Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted by any three of the Justices referred to in subsection (1) of this section and when so constituted, the most senior of the Justices shall preside.

 

(3)   A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal     unless he is of high moral character and proven integrity and is of not less that twelve years' standing as a lawyer.

  

 (4)   The Chief Justice may create such divisions of the Court of Appeal as he considers necessary to sit in such places as he may determine.

              (5)   subject to clause (3) of article 129 of the Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall be bound by its own previous decisions; and all courts lower than the Court of Appeal shall follow the decisions of the Court of Appeal on questions. of law.

               (6) The determination of any question before the Court of Appeal shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the members hearing the case.

 

Jurisdiction of Court of appea

  section 11

11.        (1)  The Court of appeal shall have jurisdiction throughout Ghana to hear and determine, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, appeals from a judgment, decree or order of the High Court and Regional Tribunals and Such other appellate jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by the Constitution or any other law.

              (2) Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, an appeal shall lie as of right from a judgment, decree or order of the High Court and a Regional Tribunal to the Court of Appeal.

       Section 11(3) (4) amended by Act 620 s. 1.

               (3) The Court of Appeal shall also have -

(a)     jurisdiction to hear appeals from any judgment of a circuit Court; and

                    

(b)    any other jurisdiction conferred on the Court by any other enactment.

                    

             (4) A person aggrieved by any judgment, decree or order of a Circuit Court may

appeal against it to the Court of Appeal.

        

             (5) A person aggrieved by any interlocutory order or decision made or  given by a Circuit Court may appeal to the Court of appeal against the order or decision with the leave of the Circuit Court and upon a refusal with the leave of the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any such appeal.

 

             (6) Where a party desires to appeal to the Court of Appeal in a criminal case, he shall give notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal within one month of the decision appealed against; except that the time specified may at any time be extended by the court to which the appeal is being made or by the court whose decision is being appealed against.

 

           (7)The Court of Appeal shall not entertain any appeal unless the appellant as fulfilled all the conditions prescribed in that behalf by Rules of Court.

 

          (8) For  the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or enforcement of a judgment or order made on any appeal, and for the purpose of any other authority expressly or by necessary implication given to the Court of appeal by the Constitution, this Act or any other law, the Court of appeal shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the court from which the appeal is brought.

 

:

"(3) The Court of Appeal shall also have Jurisdiction

(a) to hear appeals from any judgment of a Circuit Court in a civil cause or matter; and

(b) in any matter in which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court under any other enactment.

 

                     (4)            A person aggrieved by a judgment of a Circuit Court in a civil cause or matter may appeaI against the judgment to the Court of Appeal. l

 

12.  A single Justice of the Court of Appeal may exercise a power vested in the Court of appeal that does not involve the decision of a cause or matter before the Court of Appeal, except that -

 

(a)  in criminal matters where that Justice refuses or grants an application in the exercise of such power, a person affected by it is entitled to have the application determined by the Court of appeal as duly constituted; and

 

(b) in civil matters any order, direction or decision made or given in exercise of the powers conferred by this section may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Court of Appeal as duly constituted.

 

13.      (1) If it appears to the Court of appeal that an appellant, though not properly convicted on some count or part of the indictment or charge, has been properly convicted on some other count or part of the indictment or charge, the Court may either confirm the sentence passed on the appellant at the trial, or pass a sentence in substitution for it as it thinks proper and as may be warranted in law by the verdict on the count or part of the indictment or charge on which the Court considers that the appellant has been properly convicted.

             (2) Where an appellant has been convicted of an offence and the Judge, the jury or panel who tried him, could on the indictment or charge have found-him guilty of some other offence, and on the finding of the Judge, jury or panel it appears to the Court of appeal that the Judge, jury or panel must have been satisfied off acts which proved him guilty of that other offence, the Court may, instead of allowing the appeal, substitute for the verdict found by the Judge ,jury or panel a verdict of guilty of that other offence, and pass such sentence in substitution for the sentence passed at the trial as may be warranted in law for that other offence.

             (3) Where on the trial of the appellant the jury or panel have found

a special verdict and the Court of Appeal considers that a wrong conclusion had been arrived at by the Court before which the appellant

was convicted on the basis of that verdict ,the Court of Appeal may instead of allowing the appeal, order such conclusion to be recorded as appears to the Court of appeal to be in law required by the verdict, and make such other order as may be warranted in law.

           

           (4)  Where after the trial of the appellant a special verdict has been found and the Court of Appeal is satisfied that the special verdict was wrongly found the Court of appeal may set aside the verdict and substitute an order of conviction or acquittal or may make such other order as may be warranted in law.

        

             (5)  If on any appeal it appears to the Court of appeal that although the appellant was guilty of the act or omission charged against him, he was insane at the time the act was done or omission made so as not to be responsible according to law for his actions, the Court may set aside the sentence passed at the trial and order the appellant to be kept in custody as a criminally insane person in a place and in such manner as the Court shall direct until the pleasure of the President is known and the President may give orders for the safe custody of the appellant.

        

              (6)  Where the Court of Appeal is of the opinion that the proceedings in the trial court were a nullity either through want of jurisdiction or otherwise, the Court of Appeal may order the appellant to be tried by a court of competent jurisdiction.

      

              (7)  If the Court Appeal is satisfied that owing to exceptional circumstances the interest of justice requires that there should be a re-trial, the Court may order a re-trial on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

 

Sub - Part III - High Court

 

14.          (1) The High Court shall consist of -

                       (a)      the Chief Justice;

(b)          not less that twenty Justices of the High Court;      and

(c)          such other Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature or Chairmen of Regional Tribunals as the Chief Justice may, by writing signed by him, request to sit as High Court Justices for any period.

(2)  The High Court shall be constituted -

(a)          by a single Justice of the Court; or

(b)          by a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal; or

(c)          by a single Justice of the Court and jury; or

(d)          by a single Justice of the Court with assessors; or

(e)          by three Justices of the Court for the trial of the offence of high treason or treason as required by article 19 of the Constitution.

 

 

(3)          There shall be in the High Court such divisions consisting of such number of Justices respectively as the Chief Justice may determine.

 

(4)          A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the High Court unless he is a person of high moral character and proven integrity and is of at least ten years' standing as a lawyer.

 

 

 

Jurisdiction of High Court

  Section 15 amended by Act 620 s.2

15.  (1) The. High Court shall, subject to the provisions of the Constitution have -

(a)          original jurisdiction in all matters and in particular ,in civil and criminal matters;

 

(b)          jurisdiction to enforce the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution;

(c)          appellate jurisdiction from a decision of a

Community Tribunal in civil matters;

any other jurisdiction conferred by the

                                    Constitution or by any other enactment.

 

 

(2)          For the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or enforcement of any judgment or order made on an appeal, and for the purpose of any other authority, expressly or by necessary implication given to the High Court by the Constitution, this Act or any other law, the, High Court shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the court from which the appeal is brought.

 

(3)          The High Court shall have no power, in a trial for the offence of high treason or treason, to convict any person for an offence other than high treason or treason.

(4) A Justice of the High Court may, in accordance with rules of

court,          exercise in court or in chambers, all or any of the jurisdiction vested in the High Court by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.

 
l

16.     The High Court shall have supervisory jurisdiction over all lower

courts and any lower adjudicating authority; and may, in the exercise of

that jurisdiction, issue orders and directions including orders in the nature t of habeas corpus, certiorari, mandamus, prohibition and quo warranto for  the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of its supervisory powers.

 

17.     (1) Subject to any right of appeal conferred by any enactment, only the High Court shall have jurisdiction to try an act of piracy.

(2)      An act of piracy shall, for the purposes of this Act, have the meaning assigned to it under section 19 of the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29).

 

18.     (1) In addition to any jurisdiction conferred by any enactment, the High Court shall have power, subject to the provisions of any other enactment-

(a)      on application by any person, and after hearing any objections to the application, to appoint any person as a guardian or as joint-guardian f or an infant, where the Court is of the opinion that the appointment is desirable in the circumstances having regard to the welfare of the infant;

(b)      on application by any person, and after hearing any objections to the application, to make such orders concerning the custody of an infant, the right of access to an infant, and weekly or other periodic payments towards the maintenance of an infant, as the Court may consider just in the circumstances, having regard to the means of the persons concerned and the welfare of the infant;

(c)      for good cause to remove any guardian or joint-guardian and to appoint a new guardian or joint-guardian;

(a)      to determine any dispute between a guardian and a parent, or between joint-guardians;

(e)      to intervene in any guardianship where in the opinion of the Court the guardian has acted or .is likely to act prejudicially to the welfare of an infant, and to make such consequential orders as the Court may consider desirable having regard to the welfare of the infant;

(t)      in respect of any infant to make such orders and give such directions for the control and administration of the estate of that infant, including the investment of money, as the Court may consider desirable having regard to the welfare of the infant;

(g)      in respect of any infant to make such orders and give such directions permitting the use of moneys for the education of the infant, or for setting him up in any occupation or career, as the court may consider desirable having regard to the welfare of the infant.

(2)      The welfare of the infant shall be the primary consideration of the High Court in the exercise of its powers under this section.

(3)      In this section, "infant" means a person under the age of

twenty-one          years.

 

 

19.     In addition to any jurisdiction conferred by any enactment the High Court shall have power, subject to the provisions of any other enactment-

(a)      on application by any person, and after hearing any objections to the application, to appoint any person as a guardian or as joint-guardian for a person of unsound mind or to direct the person of unsound mind to be delivered into the care of a responsible authority or a relative, where the Court is satisfied that such course is desirable to ensure the welfare of the person of unsound mind;

(b)      to vary or rescind for good cause an appointment made under paragraph (a) and to attach such conditions to an appointment as may appear desirable;

(c)      to make such orders and give such directions as appear necessary or desirable to secure the maintenance, safety and welfare of a person of unsound mind, the efficient administration, disposition and management of any of his property or affairs, and for purposes ancillary to them;

(d)      to make such orders as appear necessary or desirable to secure the carrying out of any contract entered into by a person of unsound mind, or the conduct of any legal proceedings in his name or on his behalf.

 

20. (1) The High Court shall, subject to the provisions of any other enactment, have jurisdiction to hear and determine any of the following questions or claims-

(a)      a question as to the title to or ownership of a ship, or the proceeds of the sale of a ship, arising in an action relating to possession, salvage, damage, necessaries, wages or bottomy;

(b)      a question arising between the co-owners of a ship registered at a port in Ghana as to the ownership, possession, employment or earnings of that ship, or any share of it, with power to settle any account outstanding and unsettled between the parties in relation to it, and to direct the ship, or any share of it, to be sold, or to make such order as the Court thinks fit,

(c)      a claim for damage to a ship (whether receive on the high seas or within the territorial waters or for damage done by a ship);

(d)          subject to section 249 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1963

 (Act 183),  a claim in the nature of salvage for services rendered to a ship (including services rendered in saving life from a ship), whether rendered on the high seas or within the territorial waters, and whether a wreck in respect of which the salvage is claimed is found on sea or land;

(e)      a claim in the nature of to wage, whether the services were

rendered on the high seas or within the territorial waters; a claim for necessaries supplied to a foreign ship(whether supplied on the high seas or within the territorial waters) and a claim for necessaries supplied to a ship elsewhere than in the port to which the ship belongs;

(g)      a claim by a seaman for wages earned by him on board a ship, whether due under a special contract or otherwise, and a claim by the master of a ship for salary earned by him on board the ship and for disbursements made by him on account of the ship;

(h)      a claim in respect of a mortgage of any ship, being a mortgage duly registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1963 (Act 183), or in respect of any mortgage of a ship which is, or the proceeds of which are, under the arrest of the Court;

(i)      a claim for building, equipping or repairing a ship, if at the

time of the institution of the proceedings the ship is, or the proceeds of it are, under the arrest of the Court;

          claim arising out of an agreement relating to the use or hire of a ship, or the carriage of goods or persons in a ship, or in tort in respect of goods or persons carried in a ship.

(2)      The High Court also has power-

(a)      in an action of restraint instituted by part-owners, to give such relief. as it considers just and equitable, including the imposition of bail on defendant part-owners to ensure the safe return of any ship;

(b)      to remove for good cause the master of any ship within the jurisdiction of the High Court and to appoint a new master;

(c)      to give such relief as it considers just and equitable, including the granting of injunctions, in respect of injurious acts done upon the high seas.

(3)      In this section, "damage" includes loss of life and personal injuries,          and "ship" includes any description of vessel used in navigation not propelled by oars.

 

Section 21 substituted by Act 620 s.3

 

21. (I)A person aggrieved by a decision or order of a Community Tribunal in a civil cause or matter may appeal against the decision or order to the High Court.

(2)    A person aggrieved by an interlocutory order or decision made or given by a Community Tribunal in a civil matter may appeal against it to the High Court with the leave of the Community Tribunal or of the High Court and the High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal.

(3)  An appeal under this section against a decision of a Community Tribunal shall, subject to any transfer directed by the Chief Justice, be made to the Judge of the High Court exercising jurisdiction over the area of jurisdiction of the Community Tribunal.

(4)      The High Court shall not entertain any appeal unless the appellant has fulfilled all conditions imposed in that behalf by rules of

court.

22. (I)  The Chief Justice acting in accordance with the advice of the Judicial Council and with the approval of the President, may appoint a lawyer of not less than ten years standing as a Master of the High Court for such period and subject to such terms and conditions as the Chief Justice may determine.

 

     (2)A Master appointed under this section shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by legislative instrument issued by the Chief Justice and shall perform such other functions as the Chief Justice may direct.

     

    (3)A person aggrieved by an order or decision of a Master may by leave of that Master or of the Court of Appeal, appeal to the Court of Appeal against the order or decision and the Court of appeal shall have power to hear and determine the appeal.

 

Sub-Part IV-Regional Tribunals

 

23.(1) A Regional Tribunal shall consist of-

             (a)          the Chief Justice-,

             (b)          one Chairman; and

             (c)          such members who may or may not be lawyers as shall be designated by the Chief Justice to sit as panel members of a Regional Tribunal and for such period as' shall be specified in writing by the Chief Justice.

 

(2) A Regional Tribunal shall in the exercise of its original jurisdiction be duly constituted by a panel consisting of the Chairman and not less than two or more than four other panel members.

 

(3)A person shall not be appointed to be a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal unless he is qualified to be appointed a Justice of the High Court.

 

(4) A panel member of a Regional Tribunal shall be a person of high moral character and proven integrity.

 

(5) The Chief Justice or any Justice of the High Court or Court of Appeal nominated by the Chief Justice may sit as a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal.

 

 

24.     (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, this Act and any other law, a Regional Tribunal shall have concurrent original jurisdiction with the High Court in all criminal matters and shall in particular try-

(a)            the special offences specified under Chapter 4 of Part III of the Criminal Code 1960    (Act 29);

(b)          offences arising under-

    

(1)     Customs, Excise and Preventive Services Management Law, 1993

          P.N.D.C.L. 330);

    (ii)    Income Tax Decree, 1975 (SMCD 5);

(iii)         Narcotic Drugs (Control, Enforcement and Sanctions) Law, 1990

(iv)         (PNDCL.236); and

(c)      any other offence involving serious economic fraud, loss of state funds or property.

 

(2)      A Regional Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to try a criminal offence if the trial requires the participation of a jury or assessors.

 

(3)      A Regional Tribunal shall have appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from a judgement, decree or order of a Circuit or Community Tribunal in any criminal trial including appeals from trials of juvenile offenders.

 

(4)       For the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or enforcement of a judgement or order on any appeal, and for the purpose of any other authority expressly or by necessary implication given to it by the Constitution, this Act or any other law, a Regional Tribunal shall in respect of the appeal have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the tribunal or court from which the appeal is brought.

 

(5)    A  Regional Tribunal shall in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction be duly constituted by the Chairman and any four members.

 

 (6)  A Regional Tribunal shall not entertain an appeal under this section unless conditions prescribed by rules of court have been complied with.

 

25.   (I)    Subject to the Constitution, this Act and any other enactment, a Regional Tribunal shall in the exercise of its jurisdiction have and exercise all the powers conferred on the High Court by this Act or any other enactment and shall have power to issue in criminal matters any order or impose any sentence which a High Court may issue or impose.

          

       (2)   For the avoidance of doubt, the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 3 0). the Evidence Decree 1975, (NRCD 323), the Rules of court and all other rules of evidence and procedure applicable to the High Court in criminal trials and hearing of criminal appeals shall, subject to the provisions of this Sub-Part, apply to trials and appeals before a Regional Tribunal.

 

26. (1) The determination of any question before a Regional Tribunal in the exercise of its original and appellate jurisdiction shall be in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the members hearing the case.

 

    (2)   Where the majority does not include the Chairman and the accused is convicted, the accused  shall, where he gives notice to appeal against the decision, be granted bail by the Tribunal, subject to such conditions as the Tribunal may determine.

         

    (3)  A person aggrieved by a judgment, decision or order of a Regional Tribunal in any matter before the Tribunal may appeal against it to the Court of Appeal.

 

(4)      The Court of Appeal shall not entertain an appeal under this section unless all conditions prescribed by rules of court have been complied          with.

 

27       .(I)    The panel members of a Regional Tribunal other than the Chairman shall be appointed by the Chief Justice in consultation with the Regional Co-ordinating Council for the region and on the advice of the Judicial Council.

           (2)          Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Chief Justice on the advice of the Judicial Council shall determine the qualifications and tenure of office of members of Regional Tribunal other than the Chairman.

 

 

Sub-Part V-Provisions Relating to Appeals before the Superior Courts and Other General Provisions Relating to the Superior courts

 

28  .Where an appeal to a Superior Court relates to a conviction involving a sentence of death-

(a) the sentence shall not be executed until after the expiration of the time within which notice of

appeal or of an application for leave to appeal may be given; and

 

(b)     if notice is given the sentence shall not be executed until the expiration of seven days after the determination or discontinuance of the appeal or until the expiration of seven days after the application for leave to appeal is finally refused or withdrawn.

 

29.  (I) Where a court has on conviction of a person ordered payment of compensation, payment of any expenses of the prosecution or the restoration or revesting of property in a person, the operation of the order shall be suspended-

(a)      until the expiration of the period within which an appeal

may be brought; and

(b)      where notice of appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal is given in accordance with law, until the determination of the appeal or until the refusal of leave to appeal or withdrawal of the application for leave to appeal.

     

      (2)          Where the operation of an order is suspended pending determination of the appeal, the order shall, unless the appellate court otherwise directs, not take effect if the conviction is quashed on appeal.

 

     (3)   Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section the trial court may in the case of stolen property where the title to the property is not in dispute, order the immediate enforcement of the order.

   

30.  Subject to the provisions of this Sub-Part, an appellate court may in a criminal case-

 

(a)   on an appeal from a conviction or acquittal-

 

(i) reverse the finding and sentence and acquit and discharge or convict the accused as the case may be or order him to be retried by a court of competent jurisdiction, or commit him for trial; or

 

(ii) alter the finding maintaining the sentence or with or without altering the finding, reduce or increase the sentence; or

 

(iii) with or without such reduction or increase and with or without altering

the finding alter the nature of the sentence; or

 

(iv) annul the conviction and substitute a special finding to the effect that the accused was guilty of the act or omission charged but was criminally insane so as not to be responsible for his action at the time when he did the act or made the omission and order the accused to be confined as a criminally insane person in a mental hospital, prison or other suitable place of safe custody;

 

(v) annul or vary any order of imprisonment or other punishment imposed

on the person convicted;

 

(vi) annul or vary any order for payment of compensation or of expenses of the prosecution or for the restoration of property to any person whether or not the conviction is quashed;

 

(b)  on an appeal from any other order, alter or reserve the order, and in either case make any amendment or any consequential or incidental order that may appear just and proper.

 

31.  (1)  Subject to subsection   (2) of this section an appellate court on hearing any appeal before it in a criminal case shall allow the appeal if it considers that the verdict or conviction or acquittal ought to be set aside on the ground that it is unreasonable or can not be supported having regard to the evidence or that the judgment in question ought to be set aside on the ground of a wrong decision of any question of law or fact or that on any ground there was a miscarriage of justice and in any other case shall dismiss the appeal.

      

      (2)  The court shall dismiss the appeal if it considers that no substantial miscarriage of justice ha s actually occurred or that the point raised in the appeal consists of a technicality or procedural error or a defect in the charge or indictment but that there is evidence to support the offence alleged in the statement of offence in the charge or indictment or any other offence of which the accused could have been convicted upon that charge or indictment.

 

       (3)          Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2) of this section-

 

(a) where the charge upon which a person is being tried is

amended in the course of the trial and the accused is not called upon to plead to the amended charge, but the case proceeds as if the accused had pleaded not guilty to the amended charge, an appeal based only on the failure to call upon the accused to plead to the amended charge shall be dismissed;

 

(b)           where a person is charged with an offence such as defrauding by false pretences or forgery and the particulars of the offence in the charge or indictment omit to allege an intent to defraud or any other intent forming part of the offence but evidence is led of such intent, an appeal based only on the omission in the charge or indictment shall be dismissed;

(c) where a person is charged with corruption or extortion as

a public officer and the charge or indictment omits to allege in the particulars of offence that the accused is a public officer but evidence is led that the accused is such an officer, an appeal based only on the omission shall be dismissed; or

(d) where a person is charge with false pretences, stealing or

other offence relating to property and the charge omits to allege the ownership of the property in question or that the person defrauded parted with the ownership of the property but evidence is led of the particulars omitted, an appeal based only on the omission shall be dismissed. 32. Subject to article 13 5 of the Constitution, in the exercise of its Jurisdiction the appellate court may if it thinks it necessary or expedient in ' the interest of justice-

(a) order the production of any document, exhibit or other thing

connected with the proceedings, the production of which appears to it necessary for the determination of the case;

(b) order any witnesses who would have been comparable witnesses at the trial to attend and be examined before the court, whether they were or were not called at the trial, or order the examination of the witnesses to be conducted in a manner provided by rules of court, or in the absence of rules of court, in such manner as the Court may direct, before any Justice of the Court or before any officer of the Court or other person appointed by the court for the purpose, and allow the admission of any depositions taken as evidence before the court.

 

33.          (1) The court before which a person is convicted or the court to which an appeal is. made may if it thinks fit on the application of an appellant grant the appellant bail pending the determination of his appeal.

         

 

 (2) Where an appeal has been lodged by a person entitled to appeal, the court to which the appeal is made may, pending the hearing and for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, order that the execution of the sentence or order appealed against be suspended.

 

(3)  The time during which an appellant is released on bail pending the determination of his appeal shall not count as part of any term of imprisonment under his sentence.

 

(4)  Subject to subsection (3) and to any directions  which may be given by the court, a sentence of imprisonment shall begin to run as from the day on which the prisoner is received into prison under the sentence.

 

         (5)   Where a question of law is reserved for the consideration of the Court of appeal under section I 00 of this Act, the provisions of this section shall, with     the necessary modifications apply to the person in relation to whose conviction the question of law is reserved as it applies to an appellant.

 

(6)    An appellant who is in custody shall, if he so desires, be entitled to be present at the hearing of the appeal unless he, conducts -himself in such a manner as to render the continuation of the proceedings in his presence impracticable and the Court orders him to be removed for the trial to proceed in his absence; but the appellate court may exercise any power to pass sentence notwithstanding that the appellant is for any reason not present.

 

(7)   Where the appeal is by the prosecution the respondent shall be entitled, with such modifications as may be necessary, to the rights of the appellant under this section.

 

 

(8)   Subject to the provisions of the Constitution the judgment of an appellate court on any appeal shall be enforced in the same manner as if it were a judgment of the court from whose decision the appeal was brought.

 

(9)  For the removal of doubt an appellate court shall, in a criminal case have power to impose only such sentence as could have been imposed by the court by which the case was tried.

 

(10) An appeal in a criminal case shall abate on the death of the person to whom the decision against which the appeal is brought relates except that this subsection shall not apply to any order requiring the payment of a fine, costs or compensation or the delivery or restitution of any property or the payment of its value or the destruction or forfeiture of any property.

 

34.     (1) Where the Supreme Court considers that an appeal made to the Court is frivolous or vexatious or does not show any substantial ground of appeal, the Court may dismiss the appeal summarily without calling on any person to attend the hearing.

(2)          Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this

section an appeal against a conviction in a criminal case may be dismissed summarily under that subsection where the appellant has pleaded guilty and has been convicted on his own plea.

 

Section 35 substituted by Act 620 s.4

 

35.     (1)  Where a person is charged with an offence before the High Court or a Regional Tribunal the commission of which has caused economic loss, harm or damage to the State or any State agency, the accused may inform the prosecutor whether he admits the offence and is willing to offer compensation or make restitution and reparation for the loss, harm or damage caused.

         (2)  Where an accused makes an offer of compensation or restitution  in addition to reparation to the satisfaction of the Court, the Court shall thereupon proceed to accept a plea of guilty from the accused and convict him on his own plea.

         (3) Where an accused to whom this section applies is after conviction, willing and able to pay compensation or make restitution and reparation, the Court may in lieu of passing sentence on him, make an order for him to pay compensation or make restitution and reparation. (4) An order of the Court under subsection (3) shall be subject to such conditions as the Court may direct.

         (5) Where a person convicted under this section defaults in the payment of any money required of him under this section or fails to fulfil any condition imposed by the Court under subsection (4), any amount outstanding shall become due and payable and the Court may proceed to pass a suspended sentence which shall become enforceable after 6 months from the date of it's pronouncement on the convicted person.

    

36.  (1) The Superior Courts of Judicature shall have the power to commit for contempt to themselves and all such powers as were vested in a court of record immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution in relation to contempt of court.

 

       (2) In the exercise of the judicial power conferred upon the Judiciary by the Constitution, this Act or any other law, the Superior Court of Judicature shall have power, in relation to any matter within its jurisdiction, to issue such orders as may be necessary to ensure the enforcement of any judgment, decree or order of the Court. 3 7. (1) The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Regional Tribunal shall each have a seal which shall-

(a)      be used as occasion may require;

(b)      have a device or an impression of the Arms of Ghana with the inscription of the words "Superior Court of Judicature" together respectively, with the words "Supreme Court", "Court of Appeal", "High Court of Justice", or "Regional Tribunal", and

(c)      be in such form as the Chief Justice may prescribe.

 

(2)      The seal of the Supreme Court shall be kept by the Chief Justice and a duplicate of the seal shall be kept by each Justice of the Court or by any other public officer approved by the Chief Justice.

(3)      The seal of the Court of Appeal shall be kept by the Chief Justice and a duplicate of the seal shall be kept by each Justice of the Court or by any other public officer approved by the Chief Justice.

(4)      The seal of the High Court of justice shall be kept by the Chief Justice and a duplicate of the seal shall be kept by each Justice of the Court or by any other public officer approved by the Chief Justice.

(5)      The seal of a Regional Tribunal shall be kept by the Chief Justice and a duplicate shall be kept by the Chairman of the Regional Tribunal or by any other public officer approved by the Chief Justice.

 

38.          Subject  to the provisions of clause (4) of article 136.of the Constitution, the sittings of the Supreme Court, the Court of appeal, the High Court or a Regional Tribunal shall be usually held in such places as the Chief Justice may determine, except that the proceedings of any such Court shall not be invalidated by the fact that the sittings of the Court in relation to any proceedings took place in a place other than a place determined under this section.

 

 

 

 

 

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