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Precedence of 5. The Chief Justice of the Gold Coast Colony for the Judges. time being shall be President of the Court, and the Chief Justice or other senior Judge of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Lagos actually on service, shall rank next to him. The other Puisne Judges shall rank among themselves according to the priority of their respective appointments. Any Acting Puisne Judge other than the senior Judge of the Supreme Court of the Colony of Lagos shall rank after all the Puisne Judges holding permanent appointments.
Full Court to
Puisne Judges of the Supreme Court of the Gold Coast
The Court shall be deemed to be duly constituted during and notwithstanding any vacancy in the office of Chief Justice or of any Puisne Judge.
Seal of Court.
6. All the Judges of the Court shall have in all respects, save as in this Ordinance is otherwise expressly provided, equal power, authority, and jurisdiction. Any Judge may, subject to this Ordinance and to any rules of Court, exercise all and any part of the original jurisdiction, civil and criminal, by this Ordinance vested in the Supreme Court, and for such purpose shall be and form a Court.
7. The Full Court shall be a Court of Appeal, and for this purpose shall be fully constituted by two of the Judges, but may consist of more Judges, of whom the Chief Justice, or the person for the time being discharging the functions of Chief Justice, shall at all times be one; and in all matters brought before the Full Court by way of appeal or otherwise, the decision of the majority of the Judges, in case they shall not agree in their opinion, shall be taken to be the judgment of the Court; provided that when the Court shall be constituted by two Judges, the Chief Justice or person for the time being discharging the functions of Chief Justice shall have a casting vote.
8. The Supreme Court shall have and use, as occasion may require, a seal, having a device or impression of the Royal Arms, with the inscription "The Supreme Court of the Gold Coast Colony." The seal of the Court shall be kept by the Chief Justice, and a duplicate thereof by each of the Puisne Judges. The Chief Justice and Puisne
Judges may entrust the seal or duplicates to such officers of the Court from time to time as they may respectively think fit.
9. The sittings of the Court shall usually be held in Place of such buildings within the Colony as the Governor shall sitting. from time to time assign as Court Houses for that purpose; but in case the Court shall sit in any other building or place within the limits of the jurisdiction for the transaction of legal business, the proceedings shall be as valid in every respect as if the same had been held in any such Court House.
10. Whenever the office of any Judge shall become Vacancies and vacant by death or otherwise, it shall be lawful for the devolution of Governor to appoint another fit and proper person to fill such office until Her Majesty's pleasure be known; and in case of the temporary illness or absence of any Judge, it shall be lawful for the Governor, in his discretion, to appoint a fit and proper person to fill the office of such Judge until he shall resume the duties thereof. Until any appointment be made under this section, the business of the Court shall devolve upon and be transacted as far as practicable by the remaining or continuing Judges; and when such continuing Judges shall be Puisne Judges, the senior of them shall and may have and exercise all the powers and authorities vested in the Chief Justice.
JURISDICTION AND LAW.
11. The Supreme Court shall be a Superior Court of To have Record, and in addition to any other jurisdictions conferred jurisdiction by this or any other Ordinance of the Colonial Legislature, Court of shall, within the limits and subject as in this Ordinance England. mentioned, possess and exercise, all the jurisdiction, powers, and authorities, excepting the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court of Admiralty, which are vested in or capable of being exercised by Her Majesty's High Court of Justice in England.*
12. The jurisdiction by this Ordinance vested in the Her Majesty's Supreme Court shall include all Her Majesty's civil juris- civil and
* As to Admiralty jurisdiction, see Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.
jurisdiction in diction which at the commencement of this Ordinance was, the adjacent or at any time afterwards may be, exercisable in the territories vested in Territories, near or adjacent to the Gold Coast Colony, for Court. the judicial hearing and determination of matters in difference, or for the administration or control of property and persons, and also all Her Majesty's criminal jurisdiction which at the commencement of this Ordinance was, or at any time afterwards may be, there exercisable for the repression or punishment of crimes or offences, or for the maintenance of order; and all such jurisdiction shall be exercised under and according to the provisions of this. Ordinance, and not otherwise.
13. The Court shall have all and singular the powers guardians and and authorities of the Lord High Chancellor of England, committees of with full liberty to appoint and control guardians of infants lunatics, &c. and their estates, and also keepers of the persons and estates of idiots, lunatics, and such as being of unsound mind are unable to govern themselves and their estates.
How far the law of England in force.
Practice and procedure.
In probate, divorce and matrimonial
14. The common law, the doctrines of equity, and the statutes of general application which were in force in England at the date when the Colony obtained a local legislature, that is to say, on the 24th day of July, 1874, shall be in force within the jurisdiction of the Court.*
15. The jurisdiction by this Ordinance vested in the Supreme Court shall be exercised (so far as regards procedure and practice) in the manner provided by this and the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, or by such rules and orders of Court as may be made pursuant to this Ordinance.
16. The jurisdiction hereby conferred upon the Court in Probate, Divorce, and Matrimonial Causes and proceedings may, subject to this Ordinance and to rules of Court, be exercised by the Court in conformity with the law and practice for the time being in force in England.
Provided that at any time during the progress of a suit for divorce or nullity of marriage, or before the decree is made absolute, any person may give information to the Attorney-General of any matter material to the due decision
* But see Ordinance No. 1 of 1893, and sect. 12 of Criminal Code (No. 12 of 1892).
of the case, who may thereupon take such steps as he may deem necessary or expedient; and if from any such information or otherwise, the Attorney-General shall suspect that any parties to the suit are or have been acting in collusion for the purpose of obtaining the divorce or decree of nullity of marriage, as the case may be, contrary to the justice of the case he may by leave of the Court intervene in the suit, alleging such case of collusion, and retain counsel and subpoena witnesses to prove it, and it shall be lawful for the Court to order the costs of such counsel and witnesses and otherwise arising from such intervention to be paid by the parties, or such of them as it shall see fit, including a wife if she have separate property; but it shall not be lawful for the Court to order any costs arising from any intervention to be paid by the Attorney-General, and the Attorney-General shall be entitled to be paid from the revenue of the Colony all reasonable costs which he may have incurred arising from any such intervention after deducting any costs which may have been paid to him by the parties. And provided further that any rules and regulations for the time being for Her Majesty's Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes with respect to the Queen's Proctor shall, subject to Rules of Court, apply to the Attorney-General.
17. All Imperial laws declared to extend or apply to Rules as to the Colony or the jurisdiction of the Court shall be in to force so far only as the limits of the local jurisdiction and Imperial local circumstances permit, and subject to any existing or future Ordinances of the Colonial Legislature; and for the purpose of facilitating the application of the said Imperial laws, it shall be lawful for the Court to construe the same with such verbal alterations, not affecting the substance, as may be necessary to render the same applicable to the matter before the Court; and every Judge or officer of the Supreme Court having or exercising functions of the like kind, or analogous to the functions of any Judge or officer referred to in any such law, shall be deemed to be within the meaning of the enactments thereof relating to such last-mentioned Judge or officer; and whenever the Great Seal or any other seal is mentioned in any such statute it shall be read as if the seal of the Supreme Court were substituted therefor; and in matters of practice all documents may be written on ordinary paper, notwithstanding
any practice or directions as to printing or engrossing on vellum, parchment, or otherwise.
Law and equity to be
18. In every civil cause or matter which shall come in concurrently dependence in the Supreme Court, law and equity shall be administered. administered concurrently; and the Court in the exercise of the jurisdiction vested in it by this Ordinance shall have power to grant, and shall grant, either absolutely or on such reasonable terms and conditions as shall seem just, all such remedies or relief whatsoever, interlocutory or final, as any of the parties thereto may appear to be entitled to in respect of any and every legal or equitable claim or defence properly brought forward by them respectively, or which shall appear in such cause or matter; so that as far as possible all matters in controversy between the said parties respectively may be completely and finally determined, and all multiplicity of legal proceedings concerning any of such matters avoided; and in all matters in which there is any conflict or variance between the rules of Equity and the rules of the Common Law with reference to the same matter the rules of Equity shall prevail.
Application of native laws and customs.
19. Nothing in this Ordinance shall deprive the Supreme Court of the right to observe and enforce the observance, or shall deprive any person of the benefit, of any law or custom existing in the Colony, such law or custom not being repugnant to natural justice, equity, and good conscience, nor incompatible either directly or by necessary implication with any enactment of the Colonial Legislature existing at the commencement of this Ordinance, or which may afterwards come into operation. Such laws and customs shall be deemed applicable in causes and matters where the parties thereto are natives of the Colony, and particularly, but without derogating from their application in other cases, in causes and matters relating to marriage and to the tenure and transfer of real and personal property, and to inheritance and testamentary dispositions, and also in causes and matters between natives and Europeans where it may appear to the Court that substantial injustice would be done to either party by a strict adherence to the rules of English law. No party shall be entitled to claim the benefit of any local law or custom, if it shall appear either from express contract or from the nature of the transactions out of which any suit or question