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24.11.2005 General News

Judiciary urged to build a culture of performance

By GNA
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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Thursday called upon the Judiciary to build a culture of performance, which was quick; just; equitable; transparent, honest and accessible to both the high and low in society.

This he said would ensure that judgements of the courts were not only obeyed but also positively impacted on society.

Vice President Mahama made the call when he addressed the maiden Conference of Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) Chief Justices' and ECOWAS Court of Justice, which was initiated by Ghana's Chief Justice Mr Justice Kingsley Acquah.

"It is evident that where rule of law abides, people expect to have conflicts resolved peacefully and fairly, properties protected, rights to political and economic advancement respected and social identity assured," he said.

The two-day Conference on the theme: "The Judiciary As A Partner In The Regional Integration Process", attracted Ministers of State, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the Council of State and representatives of the South African Development Commission, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the World Bank. Vice President Mahama asked: "As Judiciaries, have we built up a credible performance that will make us a first choice arbiter in the event of political dispute, contract enforcement or protection of a right, whether within a member country or between two member countries?" He said to be a credible protectors, the Judiciary must attract reverence for its authority.

Vice President Mahama said ECOWAS bid for regional integration through an economic union where goods, services capital and people circulate freely was confronted with complex issues of law and jurisdiction in the areas of taxation, monetary policy, commercial law, international trade regulations, immigration, cross border crime, human rights violations and political legitimacy.

He referred to Article 57 of the ECOWAS Treaty, which he said enjoined Member States to cooperate in judicial and legal matters with a view to harmonising their Judiciaries and legal systems.

"The community institutions are also called upon to cooperate with professional associations and socio-economic organisations, with a view to ensuring their involvement in the community integration process. "Practically how much institutional interaction exists among the national Judiciaries of the Member States of ECOWAS?" He asked.

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