The Judicial Service of Ghana (JSG) and Messrs China State Hualong Limited, on Tuesday signed a contract for the construction of 34-courtroom complex in Accra.

The project would be supervised by Messrs Avangarde Design Services, an Accra based Architectural Consultancy firm.

The modern court complex, which is expected to be completed in 30 months, would comprise of 18 High Courts, 12 Circuit Courts, 2 Appeal Court, 2 Magistrate Court and 2 District Court buildings.

The six-storey building would also have facilities such as lawyers consulting rooms, a conference room, a bank, a clinic, restaurants, six lifts, car parking spaces for judges, lawyers and the general public as well as facilities for physically challenges persons.

Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs Justice Georgina Wood, speaking at the signing of the contract between JSG and China State Hualong Limited in Accra on Tuesday, called for an efficient and robust judiciary to ensure a well-functioning democracy.

She noted that over the years, a number of factors have militated against the effective operations of the court.

The CJ cited the deplorable state of the physical infrastructure that houses courts as well as the use of obsolete and inappropriate technology.

She said that in Accra alone 19 of the High Court and Circuit Court buildings were housed mainly in wooden structures built in the 1940s for purposes other than that of courtrooms.

Mrs Justice Wood said the Judicial Service has a huge infrastructural deficit regarding Districts Courts in Accra.

She said currently most Districts courts were housed in Chief’s Palaces and rented premises all of which were in various stages of disrepair.

“Clearly the sorry state of affairs undermines the rule of law and makes the fundamental rights of access to qualitative justice a real myth” she added.

Mrs Justice Wood said the completion of the modern court complex would help address the infrastructural challenges facing the court in Accra.

She said though it has taken long in signing the contract, as gatekeepers of the rule of law, the judiciary is committed to keeping faith with all the laws and regulations of Ghana, especially the procurement law as it relates to the construction industry.

She commended the Judicial Service Development Committee on technical work and finance and other consultants for giving professional advice on the project.

Source: GNA