GHANA LAW FINDER

                         

Self help guide to the Law

  Easy to use   Case and Subject matter index  and more tonykaddy@yahoo.co.uk
        

HOME PAGE

           
        

MAIN PAGE

COURTS ACT

      

ACT 459 ( 1993)

        

 

PART IV EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION, EVIDENCE AND RULES OF COURT

 

62.     (1) Subject to any enactment or rule of law to the contrary, a court shall require any witness to be examined on oath.

(2) The court may at any time if it thinks just and expedient for reasons to be recorded in the proceedings, take without oath the evidence of any person who declares that the taking of any oath whatsoever is according to his religious belief unlawful or who by reason of immature age or want of religious belief ought not in the opinion of the court to be admitted to give evidence on oath.

(3)          The fact that the evidence has been taken without oath shall be recorded in the proceedings and the evidence taken shall be treated as if it had been taken on oath.

(4)          Whenever a person, appears in court to give evidence and -

(a) refuses to be sworn; or

(b) having been sworn, refuses without lawful excuse to answer a question put to him; or

(c) refuses or neglects to produce any document or thing which he is required to produce; or

(d) when lawfully required to do so refuses to sign his

deposition, without offering any lawful or sufficient excuse for his refusal or neglect,

that person shall, independently of any other liability, be guilty of contempt of court and the court before which he commits the contempt may deal with him summarily and sentence him as if he had been convicted of a misdemeanour.

 

63.A  person present in court, whether a party or not in the proceedings before the court may be compelled by the court to give evidence, or to produce any document in his possession or under hi s control, in the same manner and subject to the same rules as if he had been summoned to attend and give evidence, or to produce the document, and may be punished in the same manner for refusal to obey the order of the court.

 64. (1) A Judge, Chairman of a Regional, Circuit or Community Tribunal may issue a warrant for a prisoner, or a person in custody to appear as a party or be examined as a witness, in any proceedings in a Court or Tribunal.

 

(2)          A warrant shall not be issued unless the Judge, Chairman of a Regional, Circuit or Community Tribunal has probable grounds for believing that the appearance of the prisoner is necessary or desirable or that his evidence is likely to be material.

(3)          The Director of Prisons or any other person in whose  custody the prisoner may be, shall immediately obey the warrant by bringing the prisoner to the court in his custody, or by delivering him to an officer of the court as ordered and if the prisoner, under the terms of the warrant, is delivered to an officer of the court, the Director or other person shall not be liable for his escape.

65.     (1) A court may, in any proceedings order and allow to all persons required to attend, or be examined as witnesses such sums of money as seem fit both for defraying their reasonable expenses and for giving them reasonable compensation for their trouble and loss of time.

         (2) It shall not be lawful in any proceedings for a person to refuse to attend as a witness, or to give evidence when so required by order of the court on the grounds that his expenses have not first been paid or provided for.

66.     All sums of money allowed under section 65 shall be paid -

(a) in civil proceedings by the party on whose behalf the

witness is called and shall be recoverable as ordinary costs of the suit if ordered by the court; or

(b) in criminal proceedings out of the Consolidated Fund if not paid by the convicted party or the prosecutor.

67.     Any person who in relation to any proceedings before a court give, false evidence on a declaration without oath, commits an offence and shall be convicted and punished in the same manner as if he had given the evidence on oath.

68.          In any proceedings a court may, on the application of either party or

on its own motion make an order for the inspection by the court, the jury, the panel, the parties, or witnesses, of any movable or immovable property, the inspection of which may be material to the proper determination of the question before the court, and the court may give such directions in respect of the inspection, as it thinks fit.

69. (1) In any proceedings before a court the court may cause oral evidence to be recorded by shorthand, tape recorder or by such other means as the Chief Justice may determine.

(2)          The recording shall be done by an officer of the court or any other person appointed for that purpose.

(3)          A record taken under subsection (1) shall be transcribed by a person referred to in subsection (2) and the transcript shall for all purposes be the official record of the proceedings in question,

(4)          Before any person, other than the Judge, Chairman of a Regional, Circuit or Community Tribunal, records or transcribes any evidence under this section, an oath shall be tendered to and taken by that person for the accurate and faithful recording of that evidence.

(5)          An officer of the court who has once duly taken the oath shall not again be required to take the oath in respect of the same or of any subsequent case,

(6)          The evidence shall be recorded under the supervision and control of the presiding Judge or Chairman who may at any time before appending his signature to the written statement of the evidence amend ,anything in it which he considers requires to be amended.

(7)          Before signing, the presiding Judge or Chairman shall examine the statement and satisfy himself that it is in substance an accurate and faithful record of the oral evidence given.

(8)          If an officer or other person employed to record or transcribe evidence under this section wilfully falsifies or misrepresents the true meaning of any oral evidence recorded under this section -

(a)          he commits an offence, and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding I00,000.00 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both; or

(b)          he may be dealt with summarily by the court as for contempt of court and be sentenced immediately to a fine not exceeding 5O,OOO.OOoratermofimprisonmentnot exceeding six months.

70.     (1) No person is entitled, to inspect or to have a copy of the record of evidence given in a case before a court or to a copy of the court's notes, except as may be expressly provided by the Constitution, a rule of court or any other enactment.

(2)          If a person affected by a judgment or a court order desires to have a copy of the judgment, order, deposition or other part of the record, he shall on application for the copy be furnished with it if he pays its cost except where the court for some special reason thinks fit to furnish it free of charge.

71.     (1) In every civil or criminal proceedings dealt with in the High Court, Regional or Circuit Tribunal ,Circuit Court, or Community Tribunal, minutes of the proceedings shall be drawn up and shall be signed by an officer of the Court duly authorised by the Judge or Chairman of the Tribunal.

(2)          The minutes, with the notes of evidence taken at the hearing or trial including any record of proceedings taken under section 69 of this Act, shall be preserved as records of the Court.

(3)          The minutes and notes of evidence including the record referred to in subsection (2) of this section or a copy of it signed and certified as a true copy by the officer referred to in subsection (1) shall at all times without further proof, be admitted as evidence of the proceedings and of the statements made by the witnesses.

72.     (1) Any court with civil jurisdiction and its officers shall promote reconciliation, encourage and facilitate the settlement of disputes in an amicable manner between and among persons over whom the court has jurisdiction.

(1) When a civil suit or proceeding is pending, any court with jurisdiction in that suit may promote reconciliation among the parties, and encourage and facilitate the amicable settlement of the suit or proceeding.

73. Any court, with criminal jurisdiction may promote reconciliation, encourage and facilitate a settlement in an amicable manner of any offence not amounting to felony and not aggravated in degree, on payment of compensation or on other terms approved by the court before which the case is tried, and may during the pendency of the negotiations for a settlement stay the proceeding for a reasonable time and in the event of a settlement being effected shall dismiss the case and discharge the accused person.

74. (I On an application by the Attonney-General the High Court may order that no legal proceedings shall be instituted by a person in any court without its leave if the person has habitually and persistently without reasonable ground instituted vexatious legal proceedings in any court whether against the same person or not.

(2) The leave of the High Court shall not be given unless it is satisfied that the proceedings are not an abuse of court process and that there is prima facie ground for the proceedings.

 

 

75   (I) The High Court may order the examination of a witness within its jurisdiction on such terms as it considers necessary when an application is made by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction in another country for the testimony inrespect of criminal, civil or commercial matters before that court or tribunal.

      (2)  The High Court may order the attendance of the person before any person named in the order -

 

(a)      to be examined on oath, on interrogatories; or

(b) to produce specific documents

and shall give such directions as it thinks fit.

(3)      Any order of the High Court made under this section may be enforced in the same manner as an order made in a cause pending in the High Court.

 

76. (1) An ambassador, minister, diplomatic agent or consular officer may issue a certificate that a matter the subject of an application under section 75 is a criminal, civil or commercial matter and that the court or tribunal requires the evidence pending before a court or tribunal in the country in which he is employed.

       (2) If no certificate under subsection (1) is issued, other evidence shall be admissible to show that the matter for which the evidence is required is pending before a court or tribunal in another country.

77.     A person authorised to take the examination of a witness by an order made under section 75 of this Act may take all the, examinations on oath.

78.     Every person whose attendance is required under section 75 of this Act shall be entitled to the same allowances as a witness appearing at a trial in the High Court.

79.     Every person examined under an order made under section 75 of  this Act shall have the same right to refuse to answer questions tending to incriminate himself and other questions as a witness in any cause pending in the High Court would be entitled to.

(2) No person shall be compelled to produce under any such order any writing or other document that he would not be compellable to produce at a trial of such a cause.

80.     (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Rules of court Committee established by article 157 of the Constitution may in accordance with clause (2) of article 157 of the Constitution by constitutional instrument, make Rules of court for regulating the practice and procedure of all courts in Ghana, which shall include regulations relating to the prevention of frivolous and vexatious proceedings.

 

        (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section the Rules of Court Committee may, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, make rules of court-

(a)     for regulating the practice and procedure of the Superior Court of Judicature for the purposes of article 33 of the Constitution, (which relates to the protection of rights by the courts);

(b)     for the practice and procedure for petitions to the Supreme

Court challenging the election of a President under article 64 of the Constitution;

(c)     for the practice and procedure of the High Court of Justice  with respect to the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on it by article 99 of the Constitution (which inter alia relates to the determination of the validity of the election of a Member of Parliament and of the Speaker of Parliament);

(d)     for the practice and procedure of the High Court in respect

of appeals against a disallowance or charge by the Auditor-General for the purposes of clause (I 0) of article 187 of the Constitution;

(e)     for regulating the award of interest on sums claimed and

Found by any court to be due and prescribing the rates of such interest;

for regulating matters relating to the costs of the proceedings in court and prescribing fees and allowances to be paid in respect of any matter relating to the proceedings of any court;

(g)     for regulating the sittings of the court sand prescribing the

periods of the vacations of the courts;

(h)     for prescribing forms, registers, books, entries and ac-

counts which may be necessary or desirable for the transaction of the business of any court.

(3)      The Rules of Court Committee may also make rules -

(a)          for the practice and procedure for the removal of a President under article 69 of the Constitution;

(b)          For regulating the practice and procedure of inquiries conducted before a Commission of. Inquiry for the purposes of clause (2) of article 281 of the Constitution and for regulating the practice and procedure of any committee or other body of inquiry appointed by the

Government or established under any enactment; and

(c)          regarding any matter in relation to which the Rules of

Court Committee is authorised or required by any enactment to make rules.

 

 

 

 

Legal Library Services      Copyright - 2003 All Rights Reserved.