Chief Justice nominee, Justice Gertrude Araba Esabaa Torkornoo has warned the public against paying bribes to influence the outcome of cases in court.
She said this during her vetting on Friday, May 26, by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
She stressed that the public should not accept the idea that judges can be swayed by money.
According to her, some people described as judicial predators have developed a business where they take advantage of innocent people whose cases are in court by telling them that if money is provided to judges, it will help win their case.
She indicated that nine out of ten judicial predators who take money from people to bribe lawyers on their behalf end up pocketing the cash.
“Don’t give money to people to be taken to judges….There is a whole market; we call it judicial predators. It’s a whole predatory group around our function and that is something that we constantly try to address in our study of ethics both for judges and staff,” Justice Torkornoo stated.
Justice Torkornoo expressed concern that, regrettably, some people have accepted the notion that they will win cases in courts by paying bribes.
“It is unfortunate that that perception has prevailed…Our work is extremely technical, sometimes people lose cases because they didn’t abide by the rules of courts; they didn’t abide by the rules of evidence; they didn’t abide by substantive law precepts…and so they lose the case and they don’t understand.
“The law is difficult that is why law school is difficult and so when people lose cases, they tend to wonder why they lost and then they come up with all sorts of notions,” Justice Torkornoo stated.
When her appointment is approved by Parliament, Justice Torkornoo has pledged to engage the public to better understand how the law operates in order not to be swayed by judicial predators.