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Supreme Court tightens Covid-19 safety protocols

July 15, 2020 By 0 Comments

Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Chief Justice

The Judicial Service, as part of measures to intensify Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols, has mounted a disinfectant machine at the entrance of the Supreme Court, as well as subjecting every court user to body temperature screening.

The exercise, which is to help safeguard the Judicial Service workers and contain the spread of the Coronavirus, is the first of its kind since the country started recording cases from March this year.

Before anyone can access the Supreme Court premises, he or she has to go through the security point for the temperature to be checked before going to wash the hands with soap under running water.

A security officer at the Circuit Court checking a visitor’s temperature

This is against the background that within the courtrooms, Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing and wearing of face masks are strictly observed.

However, the novelty of enforcing of the Covid-19 protocol is the adoption of a disinfectant machine that will spray the entire body before one gets access into the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal, or any of the offices, which are in the same building.

The disinfectant machine may have been installed due to the rumours that some of the Justices at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal had tested positive for the COVID-19, hence the intensification of the protocols.

This also comes on the heels of the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, having gone into a mandatory 14-day self-isolation on the advice of his doctors, in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

Prior to the issuance of this statement by the Judicial Secretary, Cynthia Pamela Addo, on July 7, the Supreme Court, up until Monday, July 13, suspended sittings.

As at Monday, July 13, Ghana has recorded 24,518 with 20,000 recoveries and discharges, and 139 deaths, while active cases stood at 4,192.

Since the virus continues spreading without any end in sight, individuals like a Court of Appeal Justice, Professor Sir Dennis D. Adjei, in a Zoom conference, suggested that the country needs to consider hearing court proceedings online to reduce human contact and interference.

He said: “e-justice was introduced barely four years ago. But service by e-justice started last year, particularly in Accra, at the High Court Complex. We have been using it to file processes. So we had this policy in mind before Covid-19. It was the policy of the two Chief Justices that we should have paperless courts, and the problem was about finance – it is capital intensive.”

The justice continued: “I am of the considered opinion that e-justice should be promoted, whether there is Covid-19 or not. It was started not in an anticipation of Covid-19, but Covid-19 is with the whole world. It has become an albatross… we may not know what will happen next year. We may not know. It is ideal to promote the virtual courtroom.”

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