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12.01.2008 General News

PURGING THE JUDICIARY OF BAD NUTS

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WHETHER a government functions effectively or not depends to a large extent on the three arms of government which are inter-related and operate together as far as good governance is concerned.

It is therefore necessary that these three bodies – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary – should not be found wanting in the administration of governance.

In the immediate past, the judiciary came under fire due to the intransigent behaviour of some judges, lawyers and other key staff within the Judicial Service.

Some were even accused of extorting money from unsuspecting litigants under the pretext of helping them to win cases.

The image of the judiciary was soiled to the extent that people wondered whether they could count on the institution for natural justice.

Some judges adjourned cases unnecessarily with flimsy excuses that lawyers did not attend court proceedings.

It was also a known fact that even though some of the courts failed to sit, judges received their salaries at the end of the month.

Perhaps it was in view of some of these negative practices that the Chief Justice, Georgina Woode, exhorted judges and magistrates to rise above all forms of indiscipline and corruption in their noble profession.

Inaugurating the Judicial Service Administration and court building and a multi-million court building at Bolgatanga and Zebilla respectively recently, the Chief Justice entreated staff of the Judicial Service to live above reproach and work conscientiously to improve the image of the service.

'Lateness to work, laziness at work, disobedience to authority, unwillingness to conform to basic rules of decency and treating our clients with disrespect must not be encouraged in an institution which prides itself as citadel of justice,' she stated.

As we have said sometime ago, the judiciary is a very important institution in the administration of justice. It is therefore important that this institution is strengthened to promote justice among the people.

We hope that judges will take the Chief Justice’s advice very seriously by not allowing themselves to be dictated to by lawyers and rather go ahead with cases pending before them in order not to deny the citizens the due justice.

We also called on the Ghana Bar Association to on routine basis ensure that its members who are violating the rules of the association are quickly rebuked before more harm is done to dent the law profession.

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