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Chief Justice Vows to bring Change to Judicial Service as she Launches Vision

The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo has vowed to change the “tag of corruption, ineptitude and inefficiency” around the Judiciary and the Judicial Service and requests for the support of every segment of society to achieve that goal.

                        “We cannot do this without the support and attention of all stakeholders. To shake off these tags, training needs
                        to be supplemented with consistent culture-changing strategies to deepen ethical models of work in the courts.”

                        According to Chief Justice Sackey Torkornoo it has become necessary for judicial administration to close the gaps
                        through which court users were subjected to exploitation and rent-seeking behaviour. “This demands the removal
                        of as much of human inter-facing that court work is exposed to. Court officials are expected to work with independence,
                        impartiality, competence, and integrity. Much of these ethical values are lost in the heavy traffic of human inter-facing
                        between court officials and court users, including brokers functioning around the courts.”

                        The Chief Justice was speaking at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), during the launch of her Strategic
                        Framework of Vision for the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana titled: “LEADing Justice”. LEAD is an acronym for Law,
                        Ethics, Assets, Due Process and Digitilisation.

                                                  A cross section of Superior Court Judges at the launch


                         She said her vision is to bring justice to the people using technology and digitalization, stressing the need
                         to expedite the national digitalisation agenda to promote easier networking among all stakeholders in the justice delivery chain.

                        Chief Justice Sackey Torkornoo called for an increase in the budgetary allocation for the Judiciary to enable the institution to
                        expand infrastructure in the automation and digitalisation agenda.

                        “There is a need to increase the budget of the Judiciary to allow us room to expand our infrastructure in the automation and
                        digitalisation agenda, because undoubtedly, the efficiency of court processes and administration is assured with more deliberate
                        use of technology.”

                        “As Chief Justice, therefore, I wish to express my determination to relentlessly seek the support of the Legislature in matters of
                        the budget of the Judiciary and the support of both the Executive and Legislature for accelerated infrastructure in technology,
                        and for innovative models of doing business with technology.”

                        She further stressed the need to increase “our budget to make learning, library and operational resources available to all Judges
                        and staff in order to enhance the speed with which both judicial and administrative decisions are made and communicated to stakeholders.”

                        The Chief Justice said the Judiciary as an institution should make itself accountable, by increasing transparency in the process and
                        output of judgments and decisions through real time publication of decisions, especially where they relate to land ownership, and
                        other areas of law that affect the economy and social stability of the country.

                        She said the Judiciary would seek the attention of external stakeholders in the justice delivery chain, for improving excellence in
                        their own services, in order that the quality of justice is not compromised.

                        In Her Ladyship’s view, this is important because external stakeholders such as the Lands Commission, Surveyors, Bailiff Services,
                        Auctioneers, Valuers and other registries for assets invariably, become relevant in the cross hairs of litigation.

                        She also indicated that steps are being taken to revert to the opening and closure of assizes, to ensure that Jurors remain with
                        the Judiciary for a shorter period.



                        She expressed her displeasure with ‘‘the current situation where one Juror could be attached to the court for years,
                        leaving their full-time work for long periods and earning from both institutions through the same public purse’, calling
                        for it to be “seriously deconstructed.” “In order to do so effectively, this vision contemplates the engagement of the
                        private sector in the jury services, as is the situation in virtually every country.

                        “I wish to humbly ask for the cooperation of the private sector in implementing strategies such as this because we need
                        to increase the ethical content of integrity and efficiency in criminal justice delivery.”

                        The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who launched the Chief Justice’s Vision, reaffirmed government’s commitment
                        to continue to invest in court infrastructure, residential accommodation for Judges and Magistrates, and the general re-tooling
                        of the human resources of the Judicial Service to improve justice delivery.

                                                      Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia delivering his speech

                         Dr. Bawumia was particularly enthused about the digitalisation component of the Vision, “because we can make major
                         strides in just short periods of time through the digitalisation process.”

                         He added, that “Having personally launched the Electronic Case Tracking System for the Criminal Justice Sector in 2018,
                         and witnessing the positive changes that the e-justice system which was launched a year later is bringing to the administration
                         of justice, I am particularly delighted that digitalisation is a key component of this strategic vision.”

                        He noted that digitalisation played an important role in the fight against corruption revealing that it had helped the
                        Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to save GH¢480 million by the elimination of 29,000 ghost names.

                        The Chairman for the occasion, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Chairman of the Council of State and Omanhene of Asante Juaben
                        Traditional Area, encouraged the Chief Justice to create more awareness about her Vision among the people of Ghana across the country.

                                  Chairman for the occasion, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Chairman of the Council of State and
                                   Omanhene of Asante Juaben Traditional Area giving his remarks

                        Present at the well-attended event were the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame,
                        National President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Yaw Acheampong Boafo, Judges and Magistrates, Lawyers,
                        and Chiefs. Also in attendance were students from the Ghana School of Law and the various faculties of law of the
                        nation’s universities as well as representatives of state institutions involved in justice delivery, among others.

                       Chief Justice Sackey Torkornoo in a group photograph with the Vice President and other dignitaries

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