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General News of Monday, 6 September 2010


Justice On The NDC And The Judiciary

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Contact: Daniel Kwarteng
The Regional Organiser
Tel: 0243-326680

The Movement for Social Justice, which is a political organization formed to promote the fulfillment of the promise made to Ghanaians at independence that we can manage our own affairs to the benefit of all our people. The Movement offers an alternative way and solutions to looking at issues, events and the aspirations of people of Ghana. The welfare of the people and their need to overcome the challenges of where we are as a nation in sub-Sahara Africa is our guiding principle.

The Movement for Social Justice has observed the utterances, posture and positions taken by various leading members of the NDC on the Judiciary with dismay and much uneasiness. We wish to ask the NDC and its leaders to stop their overly aggressive posture and threatening noises with regard to the Chief Justice and the Judiciary. We call on President Mills to reign in his party members as their leader, and bring discipline to their utterances and actions. There will not be a better Ghana if the Judiciary as an institution and its members are put at risk.

As we all know, the Judiciary is the third arm of government empowered by the constitution and the laws of the Republic of Ghana, autonomous and vested with the Judicial Power of the nation. It has the sole responsibility of interpreting the Constitution and laws, administering justice and providing other related services. The Judicial Service as a Public Service Institution is the organ responsible for the day to day administration of the Courts and Tribunals of the land.

In fulfillment of this mandate, the Judiciary under the authority of the Chief Justice has a duty to assert its independence. It must Show commitment to the true and proper interpretation of the Constitution and laws of Ghana. It also has to ensure the speedy and unfettered administration of Justice brought to the door step of the people and the provision of other services for all manner of persons, groups and institutions without fear or favour and maintain a high standard of efficiency in the delivery of justice.

For the Judiciary to be able to deliver its services well, it needs all citizens of Ghana, institutions and organizations in Ghana and all men and women of goodwill to assist in providing an enabling environment for the efficient discharge of the duties of the Judicial Service to make the rule of law and democracy thrive in Ghana thereby contributing to its total development. What the Chairman of the NDC Dr. Kwabena Adjei, the Regional Chairmen, Hon. Barton Oduro the deputy Attorney-General and others from that party have done over the past three weeks or so have put the men and women of the Judiciary in harm’s way. This needs to be corrected. Only discipline of tongue and action can make this happen. Only the President whose party leaders started this battle can stop it. That he, a former law professor has not seen fit to do so aggressively and publicly is a serious source of concern for the Movement. What will the President say if we wake up one day and find one of our judges harmed in any way? Sorry?

Recently, there have been grave talks about the work of the judiciary, having great impact on the perception of the Judiciary by the public. Some experienced and respected political figures in this country are at the throat of judges, accusing them of corruption, political bias amongst other unwarranted descriptions. Reacting to the accusations voiced over, we believe that any uncalculated criticism of the judiciary would negatively impact the state. We, the members of MSJ remain committed to the fact the judiciary should be distanced from political controversies. We are condemning such attacks against the entire judicial body, adding that such attacks would not bring anything good but rather destabilize society’s trust in the judiciary.

In this current dispensation of our democracy, we have to adhere to simple democratic procedures in achieving our individual political objectives. It is about time we purge ourselves of the dictatorial, lawless and undemocratic tendencies. If any group has a case of corruption or bias against any judge, the basic law [constitution] of this country stipulates how to go about it.

We urge the judicial council to focus its efforts on bolstering the independence of the judiciary as well as building mutual trust between the judiciary and society. As a nation, we need to preserve the judiciary’s grandeur, in order to guarantee and preserve its independence and effective role. There is the need to resolve all problematic issues through the state’s legal institutions. The judiciary has its own legal approach to evaluate matters in accordance with established judicial standards.

President Mills, a former law professor must be clear and unequivocal about protecting the independence of the judiciary. He must show this not only by his words, but also by the way that he acts to prevent members of the NDC from engaging in verbal warfare and threatening the members of judiciary and impugning their integrity without going through the proper process.


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