Court proceedings have come to a halt at the Accra Family and Juvenile Court A due to the absence of a judge.
The Presiding judge Nancy Adade has been on maternity leave since August 2021 but a substitute judge is yet to report to replace her.
Sources at the court registry say the Judicial Secretary has been formally informed about the vacancy but the intended substitute judge is also said to have applied for annual leave.
Meanwhile, our attempt to contact the Judicial Secretary to understand the reason for the absence of a judge at the court has so far proved futile.
Typically, a three member panel made up of a judge and two social workers adjudicate cases at the court.
But the present situation has led to cases being adjourned for two-week intervals. On some visits to the court, parties to cases can be seen expressing their frustrations about the situation.
In one example, a mother complained about the slow process involved in getting custody of her son from the father to enable her enrol him in a school. According to her, the absence of a substantive judge has rendered her powerless to pursue the matter any further until a judge is appointed. And in another case the applicant complained about his inability to enforce an earlier ruling by the Court due to the absence of a judge.
The cases at Court A border on child welfare and support, and are generally categorised under access and custody hearings.
There is no indication yet when a substantive judge will be appointed to take over the cases.