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'You can't coerce architects to pay association dues to the Ghana Institute of Architect' Court tells Architects Registration Council

By Primenewsghana
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A Human Rights Court in Accra, on Friday 18th November, 2022 has by Ruling of the Court set aside a directive by the Architects Registration Council (ARC), the state licensing body and regulator of Professional Architects to pay their annual dues to the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA), a private professional association before renewing their annual practicing certificate and publishing their names on the roll of register of architects in good standing.

Two Practicing Architects, Alexander K.A. Kukah and Charles Amissah-Koomson ( the Applicants in the suit), on 21st March 2022, filed a case at the Human Rights Division of the High Court, Accra.

The Applicant, prayed for an Order from the Court to set aside an earlier directive from the ARC to Architects to compel them to 'exercise due diligence with the GIA' by paying dues to the GIA before their annual practicing Licence are renewed. Lawyers for the Applicants, Peter Zwennes Esq and Alfred Enyaah Esq of Gaisie Zwennes, Hughes & Co, argued that such a directive was a misinterpretation of the Architects Acts, 1969 NLCD 357 and also in contravention of the 1992 constitution that guarantees every citizen freedom of association.

The ARC, an agency of the Works and Housing Ministry and the Respondent in the case was represented by the Attorney- General department. The Court presided over by Her Ladyship Barbara Tetteh-Charway granted most of the Applicants reliefs, which amongst others, included an order to restrain the ARC from making the payment of dues to the GIA association mandatory.

The Court further awarded a cost of ₵5,000.00 against the Respondent. Speaking after the verdict, the Applicants thanked their lawyers and the Judge for upholding the law by enforcing the dictates of the Act (Architects Acts, 1969 NLCD 357 ) that regulates the practice of Architecture in Ghana.

The Applicants further indicated that their victory was for all Architects. They thanked all their colleagues who supported them in diverse ways.