UKGCC member companies pay courtesy call on Ghana’s Chief Justice

UKGCC member companies pay courtesy call on Ghana’s Chief Justice

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-14 at 12.14.36 PM

Member companies of the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC), a member-based association that promotes trade between Ghana and the UK, have paid a courtesy call on Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana.

The delegation, a microcosm of Ghana’s economy, comprised Egality Law, WTS Nobisfields, Minkah Premo, JLD & MB Legal Consultancy for the legal sector, and Absa Bank Ghana, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, Cal Bank, Fidelity Bank and GCB Bank for the banking and finance sector.

Member companies from other sectors of the economy present at the meeting included Helios Towers (telecommunication), Appolonia and LMI Holdings (Real Estate), Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, Crocodile Machete Ghana, B5 Plus Limited (Manufacturing), G4S Security (Security), HJA Africa and Mere Plantations (Agriculture), Tullow Ghana Limited (Oil & Gas), Charterhouse Ghana (Events), Labadi Beach Hotel (Hospitality), and Western Premium (General Business Operations).

Leading the UKGCC delegation, Principal at Egality Law, Korieh Duodu, said the purpose of the visit was to present findings of the UKGCC’s Business Climate Survey report relating to justice delivery and to discuss issues relating to member companies’ experiences of using the Court systems and the impact on doing business in Ghana.

These issues comprised justice administration, the need for specialised courts, risk of corruption, banking and finance, and property and land matters.

Justice Administration – Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

According to the member companies present, delays in court hearings and frequent adjournments, together with delayed judgements, were some of the key impediments hampering their experience with the Court systems.

A representative of a member company lamented that, “when these delays occur, businesses tend to pay more in legal fees to lawyers.  Delays also cause extended periods of uncertainty, compelling businesses to dispense funds to cover legal fees which could have been diverted towards business growth and contributing to the economy.”

The delegation suggested some remedies, such as lawyers and parties being made directly responsible for the wasted costs caused by inexcusable failures to attend hearings.

Speaking to the issue, the Chief Justice expressed concern at the delays and pledged to take up the matter during her tenure.  Justice Torkornoo also revealed that a Performance Monitoring Committee has been set up to ensure that judges are meeting their key performance indicators.

Specialised Courts

According to the delegation, specialised cases are being sent to general jurisdiction courts. They opined that it would be more advantageous to have specific courts for areas such as intellectual property, technology, and construction, led by judges with the required expertise.

The Chief Justice remarked that the court systems were being streamlined to ensure that more specialised cases are dealt with by the appropriately designated courts.

Risk of Corruption

Corruption remains a real risk in Ghana’s justice delivery system.   The UKGCC delegation called for urgent attention to the issue and recommended that dubious judgement or acts should be subjected to judicial inquiries and proceedings against culpable individuals.

Justice Torkornoo emphasised her stance against corruption and remarked that the Judicial Service Institute is taking the necessary measures to curb the risk of corruption.  She encouraged the delegation and users of the court to report any suspicions or allegations of corruption.

Banking and Finance

Representatives of the banks present at the meeting appealed that lending, collateral realisation, and agreement cases be treated more commercially, as it appears that some judges are not conversant with the ramifications of certain decisions on the banking and investment industry.

The legal counsels of the banks, therefore, recommended the need for sensitisation and training of judges on specific legal matters affecting the banking and financial sectors.  It was also recommended that Debt Recovery should be recognised as a specialised area of law for the purpose of justice delivery.

Property and Land

UKGCC’s delegation from the Real Estate industry remarked that conducting due diligence on land can be a difficult process as lawyers have to file searches in different courts and registries.

To them, this is time consuming and expensive.

It was advised that property developers consider publishing any proposed acquisition of more than 5 acres of land.  In times of litigation, the disputed land can be flagged, in addition to the parties, by the court system, thus aiding the due diligence process.

The Chief Justice added that the Judicial Service is currently working on an online system to publish land judgements to reduce land related disputes.


Expressing the delegation’s appreciation to the Chief Justice and her team for their audience, Mr. Korieh Duodu said, “We believe that engagements such as this are vital in the UKGCC’s ongoing efforts to help create more enabling environment for doing business in Ghana, share opportunities, and forge lasting partnerships.”

For her part, Justice Torkornoo encouraged the UKGCC delegation and users of the court to send petitions to the Office of the Chief Justice in cases of delayed judgements, suspicion of corruption, and other pertinent matters that affect justice delivery in Ghana.

The Chief Justice was accompanied by the Director of the Judicial Training Institute, Justice Tanko Amadu, and the Judicial Secretary, Ms. Cynthia Addo.