This is a question that always pops up from clients and potential litigants after they have narrated the ordeal they have gone through with their opponents to their lawyer.
Every potential litigant would want to have a fair assessment of the final outcome of the intended litigation. In that regard, he would copiously go through his story bringing out all the fine points that should earn the anticipated victory.
Victory in a legal battle is fundamentally dependent on whether or not one has a right to sue which is technically known as “a cause of action”.
In ascertaining a good case, our courts investigate among others;
- Jurisdiction i.e. whether the court is empowered by law to entertain and hear the matter that has been brought before it
b. Capacity i.e. whether the complaining party (Plaintiff) is allowed by law to sue and defendant allowed to be sued with regard to the subject matter of litigation. This is technically and legally referred to as “locus standi”
c. Cause of Action: There should be a factual situation, the existence and proof of which should entitle the Plaintiff to the reliefs he is seeking from the court.
Ghana has judicially been divided into Magisterial Districts, Circuits and finally a High Court which has various divisions sitting in different parts of the Country.
The Magistrate and Circuit Courts are limited to specific geographical areas and again limited by the value of the subject matter of litigation.
The subject matter of litigation must according to law, be resident or executable within the Magistrate or Circuit District or in some case the litigation must be commenced within the District where the opponent (Defendant) resides.
The law has created only one High Court which geographically covers the whole of Ghana but with divisions and sitting at different places in all the regions. The law however expects actions in the High Court to be commenced within divisions in the Regions where the subject matter is resident, executable or where the Defendant is resident or operates from.
If actions are not commenced by and / or from the right venue, the suit has the potential of being struck out on grounds of want of Jurisdiction