Chief Justice receives 12-member Kenyan delegation

Justice Atuguba addressing the delegation

Justice Atuguba addressing the delegation

The Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya, and Vice President of the Constitutional Court, Philomena Mwilu yesterday led a 12-member delegation to pay a courtesy call on the out-going Chief Justice of Ghana and other Justices of the Supreme Court.

The purpose of the visit was focused on Ghana’s election dispute resolution mechanisms, including Ghana’s mode of operations, legislative and administrative framework.

They earlier held a closed door meeting with the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, and later retired to the Conference room for a session with other Justices of the Supreme Court.

Addressing the delegation, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, Justice William Atuguba, congratulated the Kenya Supreme Court for efficiently dealing with a landmark election petition which came before them in 2013.

Mr Justice Atuguba that the judgement among other positions held by the court helped the Ghanaian Supreme Court in adjudicating on its election petition around same time.
He commended the Judiciary in Kenya for their swiftness in amicably resolving the petition within a short time.

He noted that in electoral petitions, technicalities must not be entertained, but rather the will and franchise of the people must be used in determining the case.

The Chairman of the Election Committee, Justice Jones Dotse in his remarks said the office of the Chief Justice in 2008, decided to bring together and strengthen all laws of the country concerning elections to enhance adjudication on electoral matters.

According to him, this then gave birth to an election manual containing all the electoral laws and brief summary of case laws, to help the country to easily resolve disputes arising out of elections.

He added that when elections were due, “the Election Committee goes round to build capacity of magistrates to enable them adjudicate matters which will come before them”.

On her part, the Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya, Philomena Mwilu said, the visit would help them generate and document lessons that their judiciary can consider adopting as they prepare to go to the polls in August this year.

She was optimistic that the experience gathered would go a long way to improve their justice delivery system.

According to her, the Supreme Court was the only body mandated to adjudicate electoral petitions, adding that it had within 14 days to deliver its ruling.

The delegation was expected to meet the Electoral Commission of Ghana, political parties and civil society organisations, among others.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

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