CJ: We Will Deal With Errant Judges

chief justiceThe Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theo-dora Wood, has said that just as the Judicial Council will protect the interests of judges, it will not hesitate to crack the whip against errant  ones in order that sanity, trust, confidence, transparency and commitment to hard work would prevail in the Judicial Service.

Swearing in 14 new Justices of the High Court in Accra yesterday, she told them not to constitute themselves into “tin gods” and indulge in acts that have the propensity of tainting the integrity of the Judiciary.

“On stated facts, the law may well afford immunity from suit, but those same facts may not guarantee immunity from criminal proceedings or impeachment or removal. This underscores the importance of exercising the enormous powers, particularly our discretionary jurisdiction, responsibly or judicially as it is usually expressed in court room language,” she said.

The judges six females and eight males were promoted from the Circuit Court as well as the Bar to the High Court of Judicature.
They are, Justices Barbara N. Tetteh Charway, Cecilia Don- Chebe Agbevey (Mrs.), Gifty Agyei Addo(Mrs.), Rebecca Naa Shormeh Sittie(Mrs.), Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe(Mrs.) and Doreen Genevieve Boakye-Agyei(Mrs.).

The rest are Justices John Bosco Nabarese (Deputy Judicial Secretary), Emmanuel Amo Yartey, Constant Kwaku Hometowu, Alexander Osei Tutu, Eric Kyei Baffour, Gilbert Ayisi Addo, Kwesi Boakye and Nathaniel Kojo Ekwam Osam.

Mrs. Georgina Wood said Ghana, as a nation, would expect its justice delivery system to be propelled to a higher pedestal on “positive pride”, such that “you are liberated to administer justice without fear or favour, and free from any extraneous influences.”
She said no matter the situation, Ghanaians would continue to rely on the judiciary for the protection of their liberties, freedoms and rights, be it political, contractual, electoral or proprietary.

“We fail in this endeavour and risk being an impediment to the growth of this nation or even worse, risk the creation of an undisciplined and lawless society in which impunity is given free rein and citizens and businesses routinely resort to the use of vigilantism and other self-help methods outside of formal legal structures to address their law enforcement and dispute resolution needs.

“I, therefore, count on you to give effect to our collective resolve to see a reformed and credible institution so that through our collaborative efforts, trust and confidence in the Judiciary will be enhanced: It is a call to national duty to which you must live up to”, she emphasised.

A Former president of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) Sam Okudzeto asked the judges to be humble to lawyers, whose contributions they (judges) cannot ignore in the dispensation of justice.

He said a single judge’s misconduct affects all other judges and appealed to the newly appointed High Court judges to uphold the good image and ethics of the judiciary.

Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice also exhorted them to be upright in their judgments, to win public confidence in the law courts.

The Ghanaian Times in its Thursday, August 1, edition carried a story on the imprisonment of a High Court Judge, Justice Edward Mensah Boateng of the Sefwi Wiawso High Court in the Western Region and Mr. Jacob Dickson Owusu, Registrar of the Denu High Court in the Volta Region for stealing.

The convicts who were jailed by an Accra High Court presided by Mr. Justice Charles Quist would serve nine and 12 months jail-term respectively. – Castro Zangina-Tong    

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