Regional News of Saturday, 6 October 2012
The Most Reverend Dr Justice O. Akrofi, Primate and Archbishop of the Church of the Province of West Africa, Anglican Church, has asked the judiciary to uphold justice and truth at all times, especially in their adjudication in the election year.
“The learned society needs justice. Truth is also ever so sacred that it cannot be negotiated-not the same as playing fast and loose with it. The role of justice for instance is very relevant in ensuring peace at this year’s election”, Rev. Akrofi said in a sermon to open the 55th Legal Year of the Judicial Service.
The legal year is marked annually in October with a church service after members of the bench and bar return from their two months vacation. This year’s theme was: “Access to Justice- A Tool for Peace and Stability”.
Rev. Akrofi, who is also the Anglican Bishop of Accra, said since much of the laws inherited from colonial masters run through the ideology of Christendom, and as such discriminated against non-Christians and sometimes intolerant of non-Christian cultures and religions, there was the need for the judiciary to ensure that all, irrespective of creed, gender and tribe get equal justice.
“You may be dispensing law. But in that role you are representing the community, its solidarity, its permanence, its continuity. So what is manifestly a legal exercise is actually a sacred, powerful sanction of authority to serve the solidarity, permanence and continuity of the society and nation”.
He asked the judiciary to hold fast to its role as guardians of peace with justice, as the nation prepares to hold its general elections in December. “I emphasize peace with justice, where there is no true justice, peace is shortchanged and elusive”.
He urged members of the judiciary to uphold its dignity and integrity to maintain the confidence the people have in it.
Rev. Akrofi asked the judiciary to partner with the security agencies and Churches to educate the masses on the need for peace and justice.
The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, read the first scripture reading, which was taken from the book of First Kings Chapter 3:16 to 28.
The Chief Justice and Justice Barbara Ackah Ayensu, President of the Commercial Court, later presented a plaque to Rev. Akrofi, who retires from active ministerial service on October 29, when he turns 70 years.
The Judiciary wished Rev. Akrofi well for the role he had played in hosting the legal year service over the years and expressed the hope that the relationship existing between him and the judiciary would continue to be cordial.
The Anglican Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Accra, has been the venue of the annual legal year since the colonial days when the service was introduced around the 1950s. The judiciary therefore decided to continue hosting the legal year service at the Anglican Church, which is also known as the Church of England.