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08.10.2004 General News

Judiciary needs funds to perform - GBA

By GNA

Accra Oct. 8, GNA - The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Friday appealed to the Government to provide the Judiciary with adequate budgetary allocation to facilitate speedy, efficient and effective administration of justice.

The Association further urged the Government to provide realistic service conditions for Judges, Magistrates and Staff and furnish the courts with requisite infrastructure.

Mr Solomon Kwami Tetteh, the newly elected National President of the Association, made the appeal at a press conference in Accra to highlight resolutions it passed at its conference held in Takoradi from September 27 to September 30, 2004.

Mr Tetteh noted that the budgetary allocation for the Judiciary was inadequate and expressed concern about the difficulty the Service faced in lobbying for its budget to be increased.

Currently apart from the High Courts, which saw some modernization, the conditions existing at the lower court's needed to be addressed expeditiously, he said.

Mr Tetteh implored the Judicial Service to also engage competent staff in order to upgrade the quality of service it provided.

He commended the Government and donors for their efforts in modernizing and reforming the Judiciary.

On discipline of Lawyers, Mr Tetteh urged the Bar to open discussion with the Attorney General and Lawyers in Parliament on the amendment of the Legal Profession Act to enable GBA to discipline its members for any misconduct.

"The Ghana Bar Association recognizes that mutual respect between the bench and the bar as the bedrock of the administration of Justice.

"The Association, therefore, exhorted members of the bench and the bar to show respect towards each other in court to ensure the effective administration of justice."

Mr Tetteh said members must also engage more actively in the nation's legislative reforms and should also accept "pro bono" briefs as a social responsibility.

On elections, the GBA stressed the need for all political parties, political activists, commentators and all other persons engaged in the process leading to Election 2004 to conduct themselves in a responsible, decorous and transparent manner to ensure a peaceful, free and fair elections.

Mr Tetteh admonished political parties to also observe the political parties code of conduct for 2004 to the letter.

"We further urge the media to be circumspect in their reportage and avoid statements that may undermine peaceful elections," he said. Mr Tetteh said the state media should also endeavour to fulfil their constitutional obligations by providing equal access and coverage to all contesting parties and individuals.

Mr Tetteh said the GBA commended the Government for its macro-economic stability policies and urged it to ensure that its policies impacted positively on the living conditions of the people.

On the Darfur crisis in the Sudan, the Association called on the African Union to play a more active role in curbing human rights abuses, mass murders and displacement of person there.

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