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General News of Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Source: GNA

All arms of government should work together-Judge

Sekondi, March 9, GNA - Mr Justice Yaw Appau, an Appeal court Judge, has appealed to the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary to work harmoniously together to ensure good governance.

He said this when he and Mr Justice Isaac Dose, a Judge of the Court of Appeal who have oversight responsibility of the Western Region, called on Ms Betty Bosomtwi-Sam, Deputy Regional Minister, at Sekondi. Mr Justice Appau said, "The Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary make the government and must work together to promote good governance". He said although these three arms of government are independent, they are inter-dependent and there should be rapport between them. Mr Justice Appau expressed concern that in some places, there are conflicts between District Chief Executives and Magistrates instead of cooperation.

He said such conflicts often arise when District Chief Executives try to dictate to magistrates how to handle certain cases that have political implications or cases that they have interest in. Mr Justice Appau said the duty of the Judiciary is to apply the law but in exceptional cases, District Chief Executives could consult magistrates about cases that have to do with the public good and "Strike a cord when necessary".

He said the major problem of the judiciary in the region is the lack of court houses in some areas such as Debiso where it has become difficult to try serious cases like murder, defilement and rape because of the problem with court houses. Mr Justice Appau appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to budget for construction of courts to make it possible to dispense justice quickly and effectively. He said the assemblies should also draw up bye-laws to enable them to generate revenue and to enforce the bye-laws to make people alive to their responsibilities. Mr Justice Appau suggested to the assemblies to insert a clause in their bye-laws to empower the courts to transfer a portion of fines to them. Ms Bosomtwi-Sam appealed to judges and magistrates not to allow their political affiliations to influence their work.

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