Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng-Gyasi has announced the creation of a specialised court that will cater to the country’s creative sector.
According to a statement signed by Oteng-Gyasi last week, the Arts Rights Court will function as a division of Ghana’s High Court and attend to issues such as “copyright and other related matters pertaining to the Creative Arts Industry.” It is being established with the approval of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.
Oteng-Gyasi added that the creation of a specialised court for the creative space had remained a priority of the government.
“The contribution of this important industry to the economy of the country is recognised by the government, and the need to safeguard and promote same cannot be overemphasised,” she said.
“It is the expectation of the government that this court will facilitate the expeditious resolution of specific duties that affect the creative arts industry to protect the rights and interests of creative practitioners.“
The idea of an arts rights court was originally captured in the manifesto of the ruling New Patriotic Party. However, in 2019 the tourism minister announced that the ministry was abandoning the plan and would instead train judges on matters relating to the creative sector. Now it has reverted to the original idea.
“[The then chief justice Sophia Akuffo] has recommended that we look at rather training a critical mass of judges across the country so that wherever a practitioner finds themselves and they are confronted with a challenge, they can go to a court within their jurisdiction to deal with the matter expeditiously rather than concentrating all our issues to one court in one centralised location,” Oteng-Gyasi said in 2019.
The ministry, in consultation with the country’s Judicial Service, is expected to outline the new court’s modalities in the next legal year, which begins in October.
Source: Music in Africa