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General News of Saturday, 23 June 2018


Judges serve strike notice

Judges and Magistrates of the lower courts in the country have once again threatened to embark on a strike if government fails to review their salaries as well pay them their arrears.

According to the judges, the decision by successive governments to ignore their concerns of salary increment has become “frustrating, annoying and insulting”.

Although the judges say they do not want to resort to an industrial action which does not bode well for the country’s justice system, they feel they have no other choice but to embark on a strike if nothing is done to address their concerns.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Justice Victor Ofoe, President of the Association of Magistrates and Lower Judges of Ghana stated that the Judicial Council per the Constitution recommended the review of the salaries and other conditions of services for the lower courts for the President’s approval but nothing has been done about it.

He said there has not been a review in their salaries since 2014 although they have sleeplessly followed up on the recommendations that were made to the President by the judicial council.

“It is the council’s recommendations which are before the President that we have been chasing and chasing sleeplessly; meeting upon meetings for approval with no result.

When the lower courts threatened strike, which they have been threatening several times as far as 2015, they have been prevailed upon to be patient and advised that strikes are not in the vocabulary of the judiciary”, Justice Ofoe pointed out.


The association called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to take an interest in the matter and address the concerns of the Judges and magistrates.

According to Justice Ofoe, the President as a matter of urgency must, “not only because he is a lawyer who has practiced in our courts for years, but knows what pertains in other jurisdictions, take a personal interest in this matter.

His Excellency the President, it is a simple matter of reviewing the salaries of these judges and magistrates and paying them their arrears arising therefrom”, he asserted.

Chief Justice

Justice Ofoe bemoaned that the Chief Justice had been turned into a trades union leader when she took up the matter to petition the President after the judges and magistrates threatened to embark on an industrial action.

This, he noted, is disrespectful and does not bode well for the Judiciary as the Chiefs Justice’s decision to meet the President over the matter somewhat turned her into a unionist.

He, however, expressed concern that despite the CJ’s meeting with the President, nothing has been done about the situations and their concerns continue to be ignored.


Justice Ofoe indicated that the association is divided over the matter as to whether to strike or not. He said they are at a crossroad and are no longer in a position to tame their members.

“Are we now going to accept strikes into our vocabulary? We are seriously divided on this issue”.

Justice Ofoe added that they have summoned all their regional representatives from all the ten regions to meet for a decision on the matter.


Judges on March 12, 2018 served notice to withdraw their services if by March 21, 2018 government does not improve their conditions of service.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and the Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, the judges maintained that government had refused to pay their new salaries as proposed by the Judicial Council in 2016 and approved by Parliament in the 2018 budget hence the need to embark on the strike.

However, they resolved to rescind their decision for what they believe to be a significant breakthrough the Chief Justice (CJ) has made with government in resolving the issue.