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As part of efforts to tackle corruption in the Judiciary and the Judicial Service, court users will soon be made to file their cases online.
The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo announced this at the opening, of the 2018 Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law Conference, which had the theme, “The Judiciary and its Contribution to Ghana after 60: Reflecting on the Past, Analyzing the Present, Preparing for the Future”.
A Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo says it is imperative for all agencies and institutions under the two arms of government to be reformed just as there are high expectations of the Judiciary to do same. She said the process of justice delivery does not only rest on the Judiciary, yet this arm of government is blamed for lapses in the entire justice chain because they administer the law. Justice Torkornoo was speaking on GTV’s ‘Talking Point’ which discussed ’25 years of Constitutional Rule, the Role of the Judiciary in consolidating Ghana’s democracy.
The Chief Justice Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo has reminded the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of their duty to make a positive impact on society through diligent application of the law and quality service. ‘Our application of the law must be totally devoid of absurdity’ she emphasized.
The Chief Justice who stated this in her New Year message stressed the need to make conscious efforts for judgments ‘to stand the test of relevancy’.
The Judiciary and the Judicial Service have indicated their strongest commitment to ‘uproot corruption wherever it is found’ with the launch of an Anti-Corruption Action Plan. The three-year Action Plan, ending 2019, emphasizes four key areas; to increase the focus on integrity, reduce opportunities for corruption, increase transparency and accountability and deal efficiently and effectively with complaints.
The Action Plan will see to a revision of the Judicial Service Act and Judicial Service Regulations, which will also include revised conditions of service for staff, revision of Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates who make up the Judiciary, as well as staff of the Judicial Service. As part of the Anti–corruption Action Plan, the Judicial Service will revise, publish and disseminate its Charter on how to submit complaints about poor service delivery, increase ways of lodging complaints and automating and computerizing the Courts.
The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo has sworn in 13 of 15 Governing Council Members of the Institute of Risk Management Professionals Ghana (IRMPG), at a ceremony at the CJ’s Conference room in Accra.
The event also marked the inauguration of the barely 15-month-old Institute made up of seasoned men and women in various fields of endeavor such as Law, Engineering, Banking, Insurance, Marketing, Academia and IT.
The Court Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution (CCADR) Programme has spread its wings to include 87 more courts across the country.
Further to this, the Judicial Service in collaboration with the Land Administration Project LAP, has trained 30 surveyors to be used on pilot basis to reduce the back log of land cases in the Greater Accra Region.
A Justice of the Court of Appeal and Judge-in-Charge of ADR, Her Ladyship Justice Irene Charity Larbi made this known at the Launch of the ADR Week in Cape Coast.
She described this initiative as a major boost to the ADR Programme whose ‘concept has served as a complement to the traditional court system in making access to justice cheaper, easier, expeditious, non-adversarial and faster to the citizenry’.
Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, says her mission is to build a first class Judiciary on the key qualities of judicial temperament, competence, ethics, independence, judge craft, health and character.
She was addressing the 16th Annual ‘Chief Justice’s Forum’ recently held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi on the theme “Quality Judges, Delivering Quality Justice”.
According to Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, these seven key qualities are practical and must be the hallmark of a quality judge on the Ghanaian Bench. She described judicial temperament as a character trait that encompasses both the ability to apply the law to the facts and to understand how a judicial decision will affect the people appearing before the court. She intimated that the Judicial Service will put an emphasis on “education and mentoring that will enable judges to exercise forbearance under provocation, to deal with others with sensitivity and without giving offense, and to assimilate data outside the candidate’s experience without bias and without undue difficulty or stress”.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has reminded the Judiciary that court users and the citizens of Ghana are the best judges of the quality of justice delivered by the courts.
According to him, “the quality of justice is what citizens feel out of litigation, their wishes and their aspirations. It is the standard of the beneficiaries of justice that the quality is measured. Whether what the judge does in his justice delivery functions is qualitative or not is determined by us, the beneficiaries”. The Asantehene made these remarks as Guest Speaker at the 16th Annual Chief Justice’s Forum recently held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Kumasi.