GBA backs calls for electoral reforms
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has emphasized the need for electoral reforms to include the introduction of electronic transmission of result to reduce disputes in future polls.
The group also called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to provide a more simplified form on which the Statement of Poll and Declaration of results for the office of the President and Parliament are recorded.
Nene Amegatcher, President of the Association, was speaking at a press conference in Accra on various resolutions of the GBA passed at its 2013/2014 Annual Meeting held in Ho from September 15-20, 2013.
The resolution called on the EC to recruit well-qualified and adequately trained presiding officers and assistants to man the polling stations.
He urged political parties to ensure that qualified and competent agents were appointed to oversee their interests at the various polling centres and ensure that the requisite procedures were followed and correct results duly entered and executed.
Nene Amegatcher reiterated the call for the retooling of the political arrangement of winner-takes-all and the introduction of and adherence to national policies that transcends government policies depending on which political party is in power.
He said the attendant advantage of ensuring and promoting the advancement of political camaraderie, reduced political tension, democracy and good governance in the country.
The resolution further noted with concern the seeming refusal of bail as a means of punishment and directs the National Executive Committee of the GBA (NEC) to liaise with the Judicial Service to ensure that judges and magistrates properly consider bail to ensure the realization of justice.
Nene Amegatcher also underscored the momentum generated by the presidential election petition hearing accentuating the role of lawyers in national development and the pivotal contribution and commitment to the ethics and integrity of the legal profession in the efficacious administration of justice and the entrenchment of the rule of law.
He entreated the General Legal Council (GLC) to ensure full compliance with rule 8 of the Code of Ethics of the GBA abhorring the grant of interview on matters pending before the courts to curtail lawyers scurrilous attacks on the bench or adversaries in public thus bringing the legal profession into disrepute and urged all errant practitioners to commit to the noble ideals and high ethical standards of the legal profession.
He expressed also concern about allegations made against some eminent judges of the Supreme Court and personalities in the country in the aftermath of the election petition’s judgement.
Accordingly the resolution supported the decision of the General Council of the Bar directing NEC to pursue formal investigations with the Judicial Council and GLC to ascertain the veracity of the allegations against those eminent judges to protect and preserve judicial independence and the integrity of the justice delivery system.
Nene Amegatcher also encouraged members of the Bar to re-affirm their commitment to maintaining and continually promoting an upright judiciary and reminded all lawyers that it was their duty at all times to uphold the dignity and high standing of the profession and to discharge their duties to fellow members of the profession with fairness, courtesy, and good faith and refrain from doing any act likely to bring the profession into disrepute.