THE Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Martin Amidu, has said judgement debts being claimed at the law courts against the state, amounts to GH¢146 million.
He said because the claims involved huge sums of money, all of it could not be paid off outright, indicating that government would make efforts to settle those it found out to be genuine.
Speaking at the ministry’s turn at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra yesterday, Mr. Amidu said some of the judgment debts, dates back to the last decade, including land compensation claims.
He explained that once land was compulsorily acquired by the government, fair and adequate compensation was paid to the owners in accordance with the constitution.
Touching on the “Justice for All Programme,” which was adopted as a means of decongesting the country’s prisons, the Attorney-General said 90 applications were refused, withdrawn, or adjourned to a later date when the special courts sat to deal with 245 cases on July 29 and August 1, this year.
He stated further that 71 of the remand prisoners were discharged and 75 granted bail while nine were convicted.
Mr Amidu cited challenges facing the programme as acute shortage of office and residential accommodation, inadequate office furniture equipment and official vehicles.
He said the Copyright office had designed a series of programmes and activities aimed at making Copyright owners, users of Copyright works and the general public aware of their rights and obligations under the Copyright Act.
The Attorney-General said that his office is negotiating with various radio and television stations to have slots on programmes to address copyright matters.
He noted that currently the Legon and Kumasi campuses of the School of Law were operating in temporary facilities , adding that the Legon school has acquire a five-acre plot of land while efforts were being made to acquire land in Kumasi to provide more permanent accommodation for the two campuses.
The Registrar-General’s Department, he said, registered 43,482 businesses and received 22 and 2,583 applications for patent and trade marks registration respectively.
He said that the Law Reform Commission during the year completed work of Restorative Justice and Alternatives to Custodial Sentencing Report including recommendations on decongestion of the prisons, introduction of new sentencing procedures and review of the prisons decrees and others.
He assured that his office would work hard to address all the pending problems in the various departments.