A law lecturer and author of legal texts, has said that disregarding an injunction application amounted to contempt.
Mr. Albert Gyamfi noted that once an injunction application has been filed and the parties are made aware of it, any action by the respondent that is likely to hinder the fair hearing of the application constitutes contempt.
Mr. Gyamfi cited the case of The Republic v Bank of Ghana & Others; Exparte Dufour, in which the Supreme Court held that when a court is seized with authority to hear a matter, nothing should be done to usurp the judicial power vested in the courts by Ghana’s constitution.
“Once you are served with an application for injunction, the law behooves you to stop whatever you are doing.
“If you do any act that turns out to undermine the authority of the court, that amounts to contempt,” he said on a JoyNews television show “The Law with Samson Lardi.”
The programme, which was hosted by a private legal practitioner, Samson Lardi Ayenini, sought to educate the public on the intricacies of the law and its application in Ghana.
The discussion, which dealt with injunctions, their meaning, and legal effects, arose from the legal dispute between the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Democracy Hub, organizers of the “Occupy Jubilee House” protest.
The GPS had gone to court to seek an injunction against the protest organizers after they notified the police of their intention to picket the Jubilee House, the seat of government, on September 21-23, 2023, to demand for economic reforms.
Despite the injunction application, the protestors carried on with their demonstration, resulting in 49 arrests.
Explaining why one must cease action after being injuncted, Mr. Gyamfi said one must comply so that the situation before the court is preserved until the court issues its verdict.
He further stated that complying with an injunction was a means of demonstrating respect for the court.
Mr Gyamfi also stated that the law does not require that one be served with the application before compliance.
He said that once the party is made aware, it must discontinue any conduct that could be considered disrespectful to the courts.
“The law says that once you are aware of an injunction application pending before a court, you cannot do any act that will interfere with that application that is to be heard,” he stated.
Mr. Bobby Bandon, a law lecturer who took part in the discussion, said, “it is advised that you hold your horses until the court determines it (injunction application) so that you are not seen to be taking judicial power into your own hands.”
According to Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution, judicial power is vested in the judiciary; consequently, anything that undermines the judiciary’s authority is regarded as eroding its authority.
Mr. Banson did, however, point out that there are instances where parties can weigh the consequences of disregarding injunction applications and proceed to act.
On whether or not a party must be served before complying with an injunction motion, Mr. Banson stated that it was critical that a party be served.
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