The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) yesterday presented Chief Justice Georgina Wood with her first package of expectations and pledged its fullest support towards the efficient delivery of justice.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the GBA's expectations and how it could help fashion out an efficient justice delivery system, the GBA President, Mr S. K. Tetteh, stated that a synergy between the Bar and the Bench ensured a sudden and brightened transformation, adding that it was in that spirit that the GBA was going to offer its fullest support to the new Chief Justice.
Mr Tetteh said the association looked to the new Chief Justice for reforms towards prompt, fair and efficient delivery of justice and called for the periodic review of the performance records of the Judiciary in order to identify the real challenges and formulate programmes to overcome its perennial problems.
It said reforms should aim at the administration of justice delivery in terms of the execution of the assignment of duty that the Constitution allocated to the Judiciary.
“At the Bar, there is no gender and I give the Chief Justice all the respect as the person holding the post of Chief Justice. She deserves it and so I will not say the President gave it to her because of her sex but because she is very capable.
“The new Chief Justice is known to have a firm hand on whatever she sets out to do and I am confident that, with the encouragement and support of the Bar, the good image of the Judiciary will be restored,” he said.
He said the reforms should make judges and other judicial staff who hitherto engaged in wrongdoing to see the new era as an one for change.
Mr Tetteh said very soon the National Council of the Bar would meet with the new Chief Justice to discuss with her the various grievances of litigants against judicial officers, mainly in the court registries, on missing files, omission to list cases and suspected cases of corruption in order to find ways of curbing those practices.
“Corrupt persons will always resist attempts to correct the system and will change their modus operandi to frustrate reform, but the remedy lies in the mutual trust between the Bar the Chief Justice and constant consultations and formulation of strategies to meet the challenges,” he stated.
Asked how the Bar could effectively assist in the effective administration of justice, the GBA President said it intended to make proposals to the Chief Justice at the sitting of the Judicial Council on the administration of justice and at the sitting of the General Legal Council on the regulation of the legal profession and the running of the Law School.
Mr Tetteh said since reforms entailed infrastructural provisions, it was prudent that the Executive became a bit more generous in its budget allocation to the Judiciary because, as he put it, “We still have the sorry situation in which judges, for instance, do not have efficient libraries for their work.”
“Some senior judges also continue to share chambers, thus creating an impediment to the efficient delivery of justice,” he added.