The Ghana Shippers’ Authority in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute has organized the 12th edition of the Maritime Law Seminar, an annual program that seeks to update the knowledge of judges of the Superior Courts of Ghana on all maritime related issues.
The topics discussed at the seminar covered two major areas namely ocean governance, and maritime trade with maritime security as a key subject.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers' Authority, Benonita Bismarck said because the maritime trade contributes immensely to the national economic development of Ghana, it has become incumbent for a sound national legal system to compliment the thriving maritime sector.
Revealing that the series has been modified from being an annual seminar to a biennial one, she said, it is the hope of the Shippers’ Authority that these efforts and more with make Ghana become the center of maritime adjudication in the sub-region.
“All these activities in the maritime sub-sector need to be complemented by a strong and efficient judiciary. We have no doubt that this little contribution of ours in the training of the judiciary in maritime law will go a long way to ensuring a vibrant, prosperous and a stable maritime trade and transport sector for Ghana,” she said.
Gloria Akufo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, stated that automation, and policy directives in port processes and maritime issues are commendable towards transforming Ghana to attain its economic goals, however, expected socio-economic challenges that may result from this evolution would need to be addressed by a vibrant, credible, and efficient judiciary.
“These positive maritime interventions and activities come with many socio-economic challenges. Where there is such a flurry of business activities, dispute is inevitable. There is the need for a vibrant, credible, effective and efficient judiciary that can deal with the complex disputes that may emerge as a result of the ever increasing maritime activities,” she stated.
The Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said with the Government of Ghana committed to make the country attractive for international trade and investment, it is ready to support all interventions directed at safeguarding Ghana’s port and maritime industry which according to him would continue to serve as a strategic national asset for development.
“Government will continue to work with the industry players to bring about efficiency to attract the needed investment and position Ghana as a preferred destination for business within the sub-region,” he added.
Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Justice Sophia A.B Akufo, said maritime disputes are a very common phenomenon in history and will predictably remain so. She urged the various judges participating in the seminar to take full advantage to equip themselves towards the dispensation of justice in maritime matters.
“Your lordships and ladyships stand to benefit immensely from these topics considering the rich academic and practical background of the selected resource persons.”