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General News of Saturday, 25 June 2011

Source: GNA

GBA condemns attacks on the Judiciary

Accra, June 25, GNA - The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Friday expressed worry over unwarranted attacks meted out on the Judiciary and called on the Executive to take steps to protect the integrity of the Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs Georgina T. Wood.

"We welcome criticisms and our history as a Bar would attest to the fact that we have always stood for fundamental human rights including freedom of speech. We do not however condone falsehood, unwarranted attacks on the persons of any one and have constantly called for decorum in the free expression of opinion."

Mr Frank Beechem, President of the GBA said this at a press conference in Accra in reaction to a statement purportedly issued by a group calling itself Network of Social Democrats (NESOD) on June 23.

Mr Beecham said the association would not shield persons who choose to make irresponsible comment and issue rude ultimatums to high officials of state including the Chief Justice.

"The GBA would forever fight for the Rule of law and would not allow anyone to denigrate the high office of the Chief Justice of Ghana," he added.

He has therefore called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye to investigate the threats of NESOD and pursue appropriate action as enjoined by the Constitution and the laws of the land.

Mr Beecham said: "GBA would not shield any of our own who interfere with the administration of justice nor applaud those who demonise judges without evidence."

He therefore called on the public who have evidence of corruption to feel free and appear before the disciplinary committee to make their case out.

Mr Justice Kusi-Minkah Premo, National Vice President of the Association noted that a judge ought to excuse him or her self on issues of impartiality if a matter was brought before him.

He said the GBA would always support honourable judges but shun the bad ones.

Mr Premo appealed to people who have any concerns to channel their grievances through the appropriate quarters or stick to ways stipulated by the Constitution.

On June 23, NESOG purportedly issued a statement launching attacks on the CJ.