Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse, has charged judges to be courageous in the discharge of their duties, saying the bench is not a place for timorous souls.
He made these remarks yesterday during the swearing in of 12 Circuit Court judges and seven District Magistrates at the New court Complex, by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Theodora Wood.
The Chief Justice administered the Oaths of Allegiance, Judicial and Secrecy to them.
The Circuit Court judges were made up of eight elevated magistrates and four members from the Bar.
They included, Marian Affoh, Nana Brew, Yaw Poku Acheampong, Abena Amponsah Buansi, Patricia Amponsah, Ellen Lordina Serwaa Mireku, Priscilla Dapaah Mireku, Alexander Owarae, Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye, Ayitey Armah-Tetteh, Charity Akosua Asem and Malike Awo Woanyah.
Similarly seven District Magistrates were sworn in after rigorous interview and examination.
The magistrates included Naa Amerley Akowuah, Ellen Ofei-Ayeh, Kwabena Ansah Pobih, Isaac Oheneba-Kuffour, Maame Efua Tordimah, Akosua Anokyewaa Adjepong and Angela Attachie.
Justice Dotse encouraged them to pursue the truth at all times and study the various rules of procedures, as well as apply the sentencing guidelines that would be introduced soon.
He reminded them of applying the basic legal principles, with emphasis on natural justice, adding that “they must not sit in jugdement over a case in they have interest, unless the principle of necessity had arisen”.
He charged them to be firm and fair in the discharge of their duties, by making an inference to Lord Denning and how he was rated by Lord Harold Macmillan, a former British Prime Minister at the time he (Lord Denning) undertook an enquiry into allegations of massive rumours of corruption within the cabinet.
He further urged them to rely on God in all their endeavours, and urged their families to continuously pray for them.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, appealed to the new judges to hold the balanced scales of justice, and eschew external influences as well as internal idiosyncrasies in administering justice.
“Justice must be rooted in confidence: and confidence is destroyed when right minded people go away thinking: the judge is biased,” she added.
She urged them to demonstrate courtesy and civility due lawyers, litigants, and other court users. The minister further charged them to write judgements that would stand the test of time to entrench the rule of law.
Mrs.Appiah-Opong also entreated the media to report accurately, by avoiding sensationalism, subjective and uninformed opinions among others in their court stories.
The Association of Judges and Magistrates, Ghana and the Ghana Bar Association also congratulated them in their solidarity messages.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme