Judicial service to establish land courts
Judicial service to establish land courts Website
The judicial service is embarking on the construction of four new specialized courts to handle land cases. The courts, which will be run on similar footings as the commercial courts, will be computerized and manned by highly skilled judges with expertise in land law to ensure speedy trial of land cases. Mr. Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, said Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) would also be incorporated in the country’s land adjudication process as a pre-trial feature. He was opening a three-day international training programme on transparency in land administration at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi on Tuesday. The programme, which is being organized by the UN Habitat in collaboration with the College of Architecture and Planning of KNUST, is under the theme “Land Governance: Building Trust” Experts from the academia, civil society groups, traditional rulers, heads of land related agencies and departments from Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia Senegal, Tanzania and the Netherlands are attending. It aimed at discussing issues affecting land and to exchange ideas on how to promote efficiency and transparency in land administration. Mr. Adjei-Yeboah said for land administration to be transparent, it was imperative that a system of dispute resolution which is fast and enjoys the confidence of the citizenry was instituted and nurtured in the country. He said with the establishment of the highly specialized automated courts and the employment of the ADR methods, appeals from the courts would be minimal. The Deputy Minister said, the land administration project which had been embarked upon by the government aimed at harmonizing land policies and revised regulatory framework with the customary land laws, reform public land sector agencies, improve on procedures, processes and information systems for deeds, title registry and land valuation. It was also to promote economic and social growth to enhance poverty reduction as well as developing a sustainable land administration system that was fair, efficient and cost effective. Mr. Adjei-Yeboah stressed the need to generate knowledge and ideas that could help sustain and preserve land for future generation. Dr. Arbind M. Tuladhar, Professor in Land Administration Geo-Information Management from the Netherlands who is the lead facilitator, said transparency was a critical component in land administration. He said corruption and inequality were very real in land administration and stressed the need to develop positive ideas to change the situation. Professor S. O. Asiamah Provost of the College of Architecture and Planning of KNUST, said land issues should be seen as developmental and there was the need to push forward strategies that could transform land as a poverty alleviation tool.