Divorce cases should be heard in public so others can learn, says judge

A justice of Ghana's Court of Appeal has suggested that the hearing of divorce cases be done publicly to enable potential couples to learn lessons from failed marriages and safeguard theirs.

Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei

According to, Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei suggested this at the 2022 Annual Lecture in Humanities at the Ghana National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In his view, because Ghana’s Matrimonial Cause Act 1971 stipulates that divorce cases must be heard behind closed doors due to their sensitive nature, the vital lessons from such cases are lost on the younger ones who intend to venture into marriage.

He explained that if married couples or potential couples witness or learn about the mistakes made by spouses in a particular marriage that caused its collapse, they might be informed on how to safeguard theirs.

"The author argues that matrimonial matters may be heard in public where the pleadings disclose bad conduct of one of the parties which contributed immensely to the dissolution of the marriage to forewarn potential partners who may fall into their trap," Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei said, as quoted by


Currently, the law that regulates divorce in Ghana provides that a petition be presented to the court by either party to the marriage.

In an earlier report, Melinda French Gates revealed that the decision to divorce her ex-husband, Bill Gates, was not an easy one for her, adding that it was the "lowest moment" in her life because she had never imagined it.

According to, the billionaire philanthropist told USA Today in an interview that was published Sunday that just like everyone has "low moments", she is "not happy every day" after divorcing her ex-husband.

Although she said that it was the healthiest thing to do, she said it was not something she "ever thought would happen" when she got married.


"It certainly wasn’t what I thought on the day I got married. But I realized for myself, I needed to make a healthier choice, and that was just a very, very sad day," the news website quoted Melinda as having said.

The billionaire couple announced their divorce intentions in May 2021 and it was finalised in August of the same year after 27 years of marriage that produced three children.

They have daughters, Jennifer, 25, and Phoebe, 19, and a son, Rory, 22.


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