Judges Asked To Stick To Principles
Supreme Court Justice Jones Victor Dotse has observed that judges and magistrates in the country can only remain relevant to society if they adhere to principles of hardwork, competence and strategic planning.
According to him, even though the Judiciary has not done badly over the years there is the need for improvement.
He therefore urged the judges and magistrates to re-orient themselves to suit current reforms being carried out in the system.
The Supreme Court Justice gave this advice at the 34 th Annual General meeting of the Association of Magistrate and Judges of Ghana.
Justice Jones Victor Dotse, who delivered the keynote address on behalf of Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, stated that judges must ‘strive to ensure that not only do we have a stable but efficient justice system devoid of delays and acts which tend to deliver injustice to the people but a system which all persons can access on an equal basis’.
The programme was under the theme, ‘Thinking ahead, advocating a stable and effective justice system through increased efficiency and waste elimination.’
It was attended by key personalities including the Attorney-General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and President of the Ghana Bar Association, Nene Amegatcher.
One way of increasing efficiency is to eliminate all delay tactics, avoid acts of favoritism, nepotism, corruption, as well as exhibit a high sense of honesty, competence, hardwork, humility and respect for fellow human being, Justice Dotse mentioned.
Justice Dotse noted that the service has undertaken reforms to ensure that courts become user-friendly to resolve disputes expeditiously.
In addition, he said measures had been put in place to ensure that the judges work in a better environment with improved equipment and facilities.
He entreated members to preserve and carry out the reforms in the coming years to offer improved services to the citizenry.
Touching on some unhealthy practices by the Judiciary, Justice Dotse disclosed that there have been some complaints about how some judges use mobile phones while hearing cases.
‘Others too cannot do without their computers or I-Pads. We need to exercise moderation in whatever that we do such that we do not denigrate the high office that we occupy as judges and magistrates,’ he added.
He called for the setting up of small claims courts to deal with monetary matters, landlord and tenant, compensations, minor civil claims as well as land and succession disputes for efficient justice delivery.
‘This is because there appears to be too much frustration faced by litigants in small claims of whatever nature that if they lose confidence in the administration of justice, chaos and anarchy will be the result.
He asked them to allot time lines for the determination of such small claims before the courts.
The CJ congratulated the nine justice of the Supreme Court for hearing the Presidential Election Petition for eight months.
She disclosed that results from the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Service this year indicated that some of the judges worked extremely hard and therefore congratulated all those whose input contributed to the sustenance of the judiciary.
She however indicated that necessary action would be taken against those who failed to submit themselves for evaluation.
As part of efforts to improve competence, the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood revealed that eight judges had travelled to the U.S, Malta and United Kingdom (U.K) to pursue post-graduate studies in ICT and Commerce Law.
By Mary Anane
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