On 1st October, 2020, the Rules of Court Committee made certain changes in the rules of procedure that guide how appeals are filed and heard before the superior appellate courts, that is, the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in Ghana. The Rules entered into force on 9th November, 2020. The new changes made, especially in the Court of Appeal Rules, have radically transformed the appeal process and it is yet to be seen how these changes will affect the rights of parties before our appellate courts; for better, for worse or neither.
B: Court of Appeal Rules – Changes introduced by C.I 132
The changes that have been made in the Court of Appeal Rules are discussed below.
Changes to Rule 27
1. Application for stay of execution to be filed at the Court of Appeal. – Under the new amended rules, a person who files a civil appeal and wants the execution of the judgment or order stayed until the final determination of the appeal must file the application for stay of execution at the Court of Appeal and not at the trial court that first handled the case, that is, the Circuit Court or High Court.
Previously, a person who appealed from a lower court to the Court of Appeal needed to file for stay of execution first, at the lower Court. It was only when the lower court refused to grant the stay or granted it with onerous conditions that were tantamount to a refusal that the party had to repeat the application at the Court of Appeal.