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COURTS ACT

      

ACT 459 ( 1993)

        

   

PART V I- MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

 

100.   (I) This section shall have effect without prejudice to any right of appeal conferred by the Constitution, this Act or any other enactment.

(2) The Court of Appeal may before giving judgment in any

proceedings before it reserve a question of law by case stated for the consideration of the Supreme Court.

(3) A Judge of the High Court or of a Circuit Court may at any time before judgment in any civil cause or matter before it, reserve for the consideration of the Court of Appeal, by case stated, any question of law which may arise in the proceedings.

(4) A Judge of the High Court in any criminal trial may before judgment, reserve for the consideration of the Court of Appeal by case stated, any question of law which may arise in the proceedings.

(5) A Regional Tribunal or a Circuit Tribunal in any trial before it may before giving judgment, reserve for the consideration of the Court of appeal by case stated by the Regional or Circuit Tribunal any question of law arising in the proceedings.

(6) A Community Tribunal may at any time before giving, judgment in any civil or criminal action before it, reserve any question of law that may arise in the proceedings for the consideration-

(a)    of the High Court in civil action; or

(b)    of the Regional Tribunal in criminal trial

                by case stated by the Community Tribunal.

(7) Any court to which a question of law is referred under this section shall have power to hear and determine that question.

(8) Where a question of law has been reserved for the consideration of a court under this section, the court which reserved the question shall adjourn the proceeding in question until the decision of the first mentioned court on it is given and the court which reserved the question shall, after the decision is known give judgment in the case in accordance with that decision.

(9) The court to which any question of law is reserved under this section  shall ensure that the question referred to it is heard and determined by it as expeditiously as possible and that its decision is communicated to the court which reserved the question.

 

101        .(I) No jurisdiction conferred upon any Community Tribunal shall in any way restrict or affect the jurisdiction of the High Court and the High Court shall have in all cases and matters, civil and criminal, an original jurisdiction concurrent with the jurisdiction of a or community Tribunal.

(2) For the removal of doubt it is declared that in the exercise by the High Court of the jurisdiction referred to in subsection (1) of this section the Court may-

(a)         act independently of the Community Tribunal; and

(b)         in a criminal case, impose penalty and exercise any power

prescribed or conferred by an enactment in relation to an offence

tried by it up to any limit set by this Act in relation to the High Court and shall not be limited to the imposition of only such penalties as may be imposed by a Community Tribunal and shall have the powers specified in subsection (2) of this section in respect of Community Tribunals.

(3)         A Regional Tribunal shall have in all criminal matters an original jurisdiction concurrent with the jurisdiction of a Community Tribunal.

102.   (1) Except as may be otherwise ordered by a court or tribunal in the interest of public morality, public safety or public order, the proceedings of every court or tribunal including the announcement of the decision of the court or tribunal shall be held in public.

(2)          Nothing contained in subsection (1) of this section shall prevent a court or tribunal from excluding from the proceedings persons other than the parties to the case or action and their counsel, to such an extent as the court or tribunal may consider necessary or expedient-

(a)          in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the

interest of justice or any interlocutory proceedings; or

(b)          in the interest of defence, public safety, public morality, the

welfare of persons under the age of majority or the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings

(3)          Subject to the provisions of article 125 and clause (4) of article 140 of the Constitution and to any rules of court, a court or member of the court or tribunal exercising a function under the Constitution, this Act, or any other enactment may discharge the function in chambers.

(4)      The parties to any proceeding to which subsection (3) of this section applies shall be informed in writing of the decision to discharge in chambers any function referred to in that subsection.

 

103.           Where any cause or matter is for determination by a court or Tribunal and the Court or Tribunal has heard the arguments of the parties on the cause or matter, no Judge or Chairman, or panel member of the Court or Tribunal shall withdraw from the proceedings unless the judgment or decision has been delivered.

 

104.   (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Chief Justice may by order under his hand transfer a case from any Judge, or tribunal to any other Judge or Tribunal, and from a court referred to in this Act to any other competent court at any time or stage in the course of proceedings and either with or without application from the parties to the proceedings.

 

(2)          The order may be general or special and shall state the nature and extent of the transfer and in any case of urgency the power of transfer  may be exercised by means of a telegraphic, telephonic or electronic communication from the Chief Justice.

(3)          A transfer of a case made by telegraph , telephone or, electronic communication and not confirmed immediately by order signed and sealed in a manner specified by the Chief Justice or any other person authorised in that behalf by him shall be of no effect.

105.   (1) Any Judge of the High Court or Chairman of a Regional Tribunal may on his own initiative or on application by any person concerned, report to the Chief Justice any case civil or. criminal- pending before him which in his opinion ought for any reason to be transferred from him to          any other court, Judge or Regional Tribunal.

(2)          If the Chief Justice is satisfied that a transfer is desirable he'

shall specify the court or tribunal to which or the Judge to whom that case is to be transferred for hearing and determination and give such other directions as may be necessary.

 

106.   (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section a Judge of the High Court shall in respect of civil matters, or a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal shall ii respect of criminal matters, have and exercise all the powers of the Chief Justice with respect to the transfer of a case, from one Community Tribunal to another Community Tribunal or from a Community Tribunal to a Circuit Court or to a Circuit Tribunal as the case may be.

(2)          Nothing in this section shall be deemed to restrict the power of transfer vested in the Chief Justice and an order of transfer made by a Judge or a Regional Tribunal under this section shall have no effect where the Chief Justice has transferred the case in question or the Judge or Tribunal has, at the time of the making of the order, notice of an application to the Chief Justice for a transfer.

 

107.   (1) A Judge of the High Court may either on his own motion or on the application by any of the parties to the motion and at any stage of the proceedings before judgment, remit to a community Tribunal any civil, cause or matter pending before him which he considers may suitably be proceeded with by that Community Tribunal.

(2)          The power to remit conferred by this section may be exercised in the same manner and shall be subject to the same limitations as the power conferred by section 106 of this Act.

 

108.   (1) The Chief Justice shall in case of doubt select the court or tribunal where any cause or matter should be heard and determined.

(2)          Where the Chief Justice has under this section selected a court or tribunal for the hearing and determination of a case, that case shall be heard and determined by that court or tribunal.

 

109.Whereanobjectionistakeninanycourttotheadmissibilityofa document in evidence on the ground of absence or insufficiency of a stamp, the decision of the court shall not be reversed, set aside or ,otherwise interfered with by reason only of a ruling of the court that the document requires a stamp or that the stamp on the document is insufficient or because the document does not require a stamp.

 

110.  The execution of any process of the court may be performed by such police officers or other persons as may be authorised by law and any police officer or other person who is in possession of the process shall be presumed to be duly authorised and shall for the purposes of the execution ,and any matter relating to it be an officer of court.

 

I11. If an officer employed to execute an order of a court willfully or by neglect or omission loses the opportunity of executing it, on complaint by the person aggrieved and proof of the fact alleged, the High Court may if it thinks fit, order the officer to pay the damage sustained by the aggrieved person and the order shall be en forced as an order directing the payment of money.

 

 

112.   (1) Where it is alleged in respect of an officer of a court that-

(a)        he has committed extortion under pretence of executing

 the process of the court or otherwise under the pretext of acting  

         with the authority of the court; or

(b)        he has failed to pay over money levied; or

(c)        he is guilty of any other misconduct in relation to his duties,

the High Court or a Regional Tribunal may, without prejudice to any other liability or punishment to which the officer would, in the absence of this subsection be liable, enquire into the allegation in a summary manner.

(2)          The High Court or Regional Tribunal may for the purpose of subsection (1) summon and enforce the attendance of any person before it and shall make such order for the payment of money levied and for the payment of damages and costs as it thinks fit.

(3)          The Court may also impose on the officer a fine not exceeding 050,000.00.

113.  A Judge or Chairman of the Superior Courts, a judge of the Circuit Court, a Chairman of a Tribunal and panel members of regional, Circuit and Community Tribunals shall not be liable for any matter or thing done by them in the performance of their functions.

114.   (1) The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court or Regional Tribunal may assign a lawyer by way of legal aid to any party to any proceedings before the Court or Tribunal where the Court or Tribunal is of the opinion that it is desirable in the interest of justice that the party should have legal aid and that he is financially unable to obtain the services of a lawyer.

(2) A Circuit Court, a Circuit or Community Tribunal may also with the prior approval of the Chief Justice unless otherwise provided in this Act assign a lawyer by way of legal aid to any party in any proceedings before the Court or Tribunal where it appears to the Court or Tribunal desirable in the interest of justice that the party should have legal aid and that he has not sufficient means to enable him to obtain the services of a lawyer.

(3)          For the purpose of enforcing any provision of the Constitution a person shall have legal aid in connection with any proceedings relating to the Constitution if he has reasonable grounds for taking, defending, prosecuting or being a party to the proceedings.

(4)          For the purpose of this section, legal aid shall consist of representation by a legal practitioner including assistance in preliminary or incidental matters to any proceedings or arriving at or giving effect to a compromise to avoid or to bring an end to any proceedings.

(5)          Any lawyer assigned to a party under this section for his services to that party in relation to the proceeding shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund such fees as the Minister responsible for Justice may in consultation with the Chief Justice determine.

(6)          The Minister responsible for Justice may after consultation with the Chief Justice, by legislative instrument make regulations for the purposes of giving full effect to the provisions of this section and the regulations shall prescribe-

(a)     the conditions for a grant of legal aid, to which subsection

(4)     of this section applies;

(b)     the extent of contribution to be made by a person granted legal aid under this section;

(c)     the assessment of disposable capital, income or property

for the purposes of contributions towards legal aid; and

(d)     the grant of assistance to a person in respect of legal advice, the right to and nature of legal advice for the purposes of this section.

 

Sub sections (4) to of (11) of section 115 substituted by Act 620 s.6

115.   (1) For the purpose of this Act and in accordance with the Constitution, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court specified in this Act are successors to the Supreme Court, Court of appeal and High Court respectively in existence immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution.

(2) The Regional Tribunal established under this Act shall subject to the provisions of this Act, be successor to the Regional Public Tribunal in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act.

(1)           All proceedings pending before any of the courts referred to in

subsection (1) and (2) of this section immediately before the coming into force of this Act may be proceeded with and concluded in that court.

(4) Subject to the jurisdiction in civil causes and matters provided under section 41 of this Act, the Circuit Court established under this Act shall be successor to the Circuit Court in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act and shall continue to hear and determine civil cases.

(5) Notwithstanding the want of jurisdiction in criminal matters, a Circuit Court before which a part-heard criminal case is pending on the coming into force of this Act may proceed and conclude that case but shall not after the coming into force of this Act commence any fresh criminal trial.

(6)           The Community Tribunal established under this Act shall subject to the provisions of this Act, be successor to the District Court Grade I in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act.

(7) The District Court Grade 11, District and Community Public Tribunals established under the Public Tribunals Law 1984 (PNDCL.78) and in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act shall on the coming into force of this Act cease to exist.

(8) A reference in any enactment or rules of court to District

Court Grade 1, District Court Grade 11, Magistrate Grade 1, Magistrate Grade 11, Juvenile Court or Family Tribunal shall be read as a reference to the Community Tribunal established under this Act.

(9) Where hearing has commenced in any action before any Magistrate Grade I or Grade 11 Court which is in existence immediately before the coming into force of this Act, that Court may proceed and conclude that action notwithstanding any other provision of this Act to the contrary within six months of the coming into force of this Act.

(I0) Subject to the other provisions of this section where a court or tribunal before which a case is pending is not continued in existence under this section, the Chief Justice shall give such directives as he considers appropriate for the disposal of the case.

(I1) For the purpose of this section proceedings or case pending include any proceedings or case before the court or tribunal, partly heard or mentioned, and recorded by the court or tribunal, and proceedings or case, the documents in respect of which have been filed in the registry of the court or tribunal before the coming into force of this Act.

116  For the purposes of Part lll of this Act which relates to Common Law and Customary Law), Part IV (which relates to Jurisdiction Evidence and Rules of Court) and Part VI (Miscellaneous), unless the' context otherwise requires and subject to the jurisdiction and power conferred specifically by this Act on the Regional Tribunal, a reference to the High Court includes a reference to the Regional Tribunal.

117.   (1) In this Act unless the context otherwise requires-

                cause or matter affecting chieftaincy" means any cause, matter,  

                   question or dispute relating to any of the following-

                     

(a)          nomination, election, selection, installation or

deposition of a person as a chief or the claim of a person to be nominated, elected,

Selected, installed as a chief,

(b)          the destoolment or abdication of any Chief;

(c)          the right of any person to take part in the nomination, election, selection, appointment or installation of any person as a Chief or in the deposition of any Chief;

(d)          the recovery or delivery of stool property in connection with any such nomination, election, appointment installation, deposition or abdication;

(e)          the constitutional relations under customary

law between Chiefs,

  civil case "includes any action ,suit or other original proceedings between plaintiff and defendant;

"Constitution" means the Constitution of Ghana, 1 992; "court" means a court of competent jurisdiction established under this Act and includes a tribunal;

"judgment" includes a decree, order, decision or any other

    finding whatsoever; panel

" means the Chairmen and other members of a

     Regional, Circuit or Community Tribunal;

rules of court" means, rules of court made by the Rules of

     Court Committee;

"tribunal" means a Regional, Circuit or Community Tribunal

       established under this Act.

          (2)          In this Act and in any other enactment a reference to an officer of a court shall, unless the contrary intention appears, include counsel in any proceedings and also any person required to assist in the initiation or conduct of any court proceedings or in the enforcement of any judgment or decree or order of a court but does not include the parties in the case.

118.   (1) Any enactment in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act shall have effect subject to such modifications as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of this Act.

          (2) The enactments set out in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act are amended to the extent indicated in the second column of that Schedule.

119.   (1) Until provision is made by law in Ghana, the Statutes of England specified in the Second Schedule to this Act shall continue to apply in Ghana as statutes of general application subject to any statute in

Ghana.        

          (2) Until provision is made by law in Ghana sections 49, 50, 51, 59, 71 (1) and (2), 131, 139,14.5, 150, 151, 154, 15 8, 161, 164, and 184 of the Law of property Act, 1925 (15 Geo.  V. c. 20) shall apply in Ghana subject to such verbal amendments, not affecting substance as may be necessary to enable those sections to be conveniently applied in Ghana.

 

 

120;            (1) The enactments set out in the Third Schedule to this Act are repealed.

         (2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Courts Act 1971 (Act 372) the statutory instruments specified in the third Schedule to this Act shall continue in force until revoked, altered or otherwise modified under this Act.

        (3) The rules of court applicable to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal High Court and Circuit Courts and in force immediately before the coming into force of this Act shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, continue to apply to those Courts.

         (4) The rules of court applicable to the High Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction shall subject to the provision of this Act and with necessary modifications apply to the Regional Tribunals in the exercise of its jurisdiction.

         (5) The rules of court and procedure applicable to the District Court Grade 1, the juvenile e Court and Family Tribunal and in force on the coming into force of this Act shall subject to the provisions of this Act, apply to the Community Tribunal in exercising its jurisdiction under this Act with such modifications as may be necessary.

121.   The instruments set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act are by this section continued in force.

 

 

 

 

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