Chief Justice Georgina Wood has urged judges not to be carried away by positions and titles in the discharge of their duties as titles, prestige, honour or pomp do not form part of the core values of judges’ duties.
According to her, since a judge’s work and lifestyle on the bench and out of the courtroom was constantly under public scrutiny, judges should eschew behaviours that would bedevil the noble profession or retard the progress of the nation.
Mrs Justice Georgina Wood was speaking in Accra on Thursday at a ceremony to swear-in nine circuit and magistrate court judges.
The nine judges are four circuit and five magistrate court judges. The circuit court judges are Yaw Owuahene Acheampong, Ebenezer Osei Darko, Gabriel Mate Teye and Lydia Osei Marfo.
The magistrate court judges are Franklin Titus-Glover, Mavis Ekua Enyamah Kwainoe, Nana Brew, Kwabena Ofedie and Williams Baffoe.
“The job of a judge is not about wigs and gowns. While these add respect, dignity, honour and indeed colour to the office, if I may be permitted to say so, it must be plain to all and sundry that these can never be described as the core values”.
Corroborating a statement made by one Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Chief Justice reiterated, “It can be said that the way in which justice is administered is a key benchmark of a country’s commitment to human rights”.
Mrs Wood urged the judges to be innovative and creative within the bounds of legality, and make optimum use of the time and resources that might be placed at their disposal.
The Chief Justice called on the new judges to emulate the steps of judges who, in spite of the trying conditions, were highly industrious and productive.
“As trial judges, I expect that you will quickly learn to manage your caseloads in a professional manner, promoting the use of appropriate Alternative Dispute Resolution processes deservedly, in order to ease the financial and emotional burden of those who access your courts either as parties, counsel or witnesses,” she noted.
Mrs Wood urged the judges not to disappoint the Ghanaians who had invested their energies, time and other resources in them and therefore serve the nation with all their heart and soul.
By Stella Danso Addai