General News of Sunday, 8 February 2015
The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Wood, on Friday called on the staff of the Judiciary Service to strive to re-establish the image of the service as a noble institution devoid of corruption.
She said the perception that the judiciary was a corrupt institution by the Afrobarometer Report released in December 2014 has damaged the image of the service nationally and internationally.
Mrs Justice Wood was speaking at the 2015 edition of the Chief Justice Forum for the staff of the Judiciary Service in the Western and Central Regions at Takoradi.
The forum was under the theme; “Integrity: The key to effective justice delivery”.
Mrs Justice Georgina Wood said irrespective of the fact that the report measures perception of corruption and not the reality, the findings hurt the entire image of the judiciary.
She said, “This type of argument is poor and offers no solace to those who care deeply about national integrity and development”.
Mrs Justice Wood said a corrupt judiciary is bound to be weak, inefficient and ineffective, and reflects negatively on the overall values of the nation and also undermines the rule of law, peace, stability, security and sustainable development.
She said the judiciary cannot fight crime, restore lost rights and liberties of individuals and enforce the laws of the land if the institution itself is caught deep in the throes of corruption.
Mrs. Justice Wood said some staff of the judiciary service have graduated into falsifying court proceedings so that hardened criminals who have been justifiably sentenced to imprisonment by honest and hardworking judges could unlawfully gain their freedom.
“We continue to receive petitions on the adverse conduct of some of you and I must let you know that Management and the Judicial Council take a serious view of these petitions,” she said; adding, offending staff have been sanctioned in accordance with laid down rules and procedures.
Mrs. Justice Wood said, “We will neither shirk our responsibility nor grow weary of enforcing the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council in order to purge the service of such “Bad nuts”.
She advised the general public not to yield to the unlawful demands of court staff and to be accessory to corruption by seducing court staff with gifts to do what is wrong, illegal or convenient.
Mrs Justice Wood said this is the time for the people to act to free the society from the grips of corruption and its ugly consequences.