Judges have been urged to apprise themselves with maritime laws in the area of Ocean Governance and Maritime Trade since disputes and conflicts in these areas have become inevitable in the fast pace of technological advancement.
The call was made by Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Justice Sophia Akuffo at the 12th Maritime Law Seminar held for Judges of the Superior Courts of Ghana in Accra on Friday.
The two-day programme scheduled for October 11-12, 2019 and organized by the Ghana Shippers Authority in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute (JTI), brought together about 70 judges of the Superior Courts of the country drawn from various courts along the coast as well as those afar of.
Delivering the keynote address at the programme, the Chief Justice said the constant and consistent upgrade of knowledge of Judges to be abreast with the exigencies of the times is a must and should not be taken for granted, if the country’s quest to become the hub of maritime activities in the sub-region is to be taken seriously.
“The advent of technology and increased globalization has introduced new challenges, thus triggering disputes that require new jurisprudence. To dispense commercial justice in the fast pace world of today, a greater number of judges must appreciate the peculiar nature of the industry in which a maritime dispute arises,” she observed.
According to the Chief Justice, the seminar will greatly improve the justice delivery system in this very important sector of the economy and enhance the country’s image as far as the maritime sector is concerned.
“The world is changing at a rapid rate and traditional practices of merchants are having to evolve and deal with new trends. That is all the more reason why we think the regularity of these seminars are very important. Important not only for the judiciary in our work but really for the commercial sector and for the economy of the nation,” he said.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ms. Gloria Akuffo, in her address, also emphasized the need for the judiciary to sharpen its skills in the maritime laws to forestall the creeping uneasiness along the coast due to the increasing discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities which is making dispute inevitable in the sector.
The Attorney General therefore urged the organizers of the training programme to include some lawyers in the biannual programme in order to ensure that both the Bench and the Bar are on the same page with regards to the maritime laws as well as the latest developments in the maritime sector.
Ms. Gloria Akuffo also urged the faculty of law to consider introducing courses related to the maritime sector and its laws into the curriculum of the law school in order to raise lawyers with the requisite expertise in maritime issues and disputes.
The Minister for Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, on his part, reiterated government’s commitment to making Ghana the preferred destination for business in the West African sub-region, especially maritime business sector.
According to him, government is making huge investments in infrastructure and security to ensure that businesses in the sector are safe.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms. Benonita Bismark, in her opening address, indicated that the constant training of the members of the judiciary on the current issues and laws concerning the maritime sector cannot be overemphasized.
According to her, Ghana has the potential to become the center of adjudication for maritime cases due to its strategic positioning and favorable business environment.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com