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Opinions of Saturday, 28 July 2007

Columnist: Obeng-Aduasare, Yaw

RE: Can Judicial Inefficiency Lead to Mob Justice?

A RESPONSE TO REJOINDER: CAN JUDICIAL INEFFICIENCY LEAD TO MOB JUSTICE?
The well-documented article by Professor S. Kwaku Asare, entitled, ' Can Judicial Inefficiency Lead to Mob Justice, Vigilantism and Spiritual Justice?' which appeared on the Ghanaweb on July 6 , 2007 must be hailed by all authentic Human Rights Advocates in Ghana and all over the world.
It is incumbent on all adherents of Rule Of Law, Human Rights, Democratic Principles, and Justice with human-face to honor the Learned Professor. I congratulate and thank Professor Asare for his long-awaited article as well as Ghanaweb which published it. The article entitled, 'Can judicial Inefficiency Lead to Mob Justice,Vigilantism and Spiritual Justice?' did not condemn the Judicial System in Ghana as Professor Richard Obeng Mensah would like the whole world to believe.
In Professor Obeng Mensah's rejoinder article, entitled, ' Re: Can Judicial Inefficiency Lead to Mob Justice' which appeared on Ghanaweb on July 21, 2007 stated in the last paragraph, and he states, " The judiciary like any other institution is not above criticism nor infallibleness but the above romantic criticisms by Professor Asare should be given the highest damnation that they deserve." However, we, the good people of Ghana do not interpret the points raised by Professor Asare as romantic criticisms that deserve the highest damnation.
The exponents of Open-Society analyzed and interpreted the article of Professor Asare to be a Flowering-Spirit Criticism of our Judicial System in Ghana. Flowering-Criticism is the Life Blood of every healthy human institution in an Open-Society. It is also the prophetic proclamation that heals the painful wounds in any Open -Society. Human institutions have the unnatural instincts to perpetuate their own death, the status quo at the detriment of the populace that the given institutions swore to serve. Any human institution that suicidally rejects Flowering-Spirit Criticism tends to bathe and dress in narcissism vis-a-vis to her output, and if the narcissism goes on for a long time the institution becomes numb and any Flowering-Spirit-Criticism leveled against her is perceived as an attack on her birthright. The numbness of the benefactors of such institution becomes so acute that they are incapable of tolerating Flowering-Spirit Criticism. However, we will save them from their numbness which has stifled their humanness that prevents them to respond to the gross human degradation in our beloved country, Ghana. The narcissistic tantrum must be checked by Flowering-Spirit-Criticism to prevent society from plunging into a Closed-Society where Animal Farm flourishes.
Fellow Ghanaians, we will not allow the likes of Professor Obeng Mensah to pay a mere lip-service to the Divine Concepts of Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice, and Principles of Democratic Rule. It is our inalienable right as Ghanaians to see that those who have been entrusted to carry out the Administration of Justice in our country do a better job. Professor Obeng Mensah is a member of the Think-Tank of the Ghana Judiciary and what aggressive steps has he taken to establish swift Administration of Justice in the courts? We demand Justice now! When cases pile up high as Mountain Afadjato in the courts of Ghana and people in responsible positions refuse to see the urgency to deal with the problem, we call it, Abuse of Human Rights, Lack of Rule of Law, Rejection of Principles of Democratic Rule and Injustice. Justice delayed is Justice denied!
Ghanaians are wide awake and we embrace and accept the thesis of Professor Asare as a Flowering-Spirit-Criticism of our Judicial System which is a healthy exercise for our nascent democracy. However, we categorically reject the insinuation of Professor Obeng Mensah's article which tries porously to insinuate that Professor Asare's article is condemning the Ghana Judiciary. The Ghana Judiciary as a Human institution needs continuous Flowering-Spirit-Criticism to nurture her to become a dynamic institution to be counted among the best Judicial Institutions in the world.
Professor Obeng Mensah refused to address the four specific cases raised by professor Asare that have unnecessarily lingered on for years in the Ghana Judicial System. There are at most thousands of cases still pending in the courts for years that have never been heard, and all that the good people of Ghana hear from the courts is endless postponements of their cases. Now, who is killing democracy in Ghana? The Learned Professor Obeng Mensah is in a leadership position according to his credentials and it is incumbent on him to be resourceful and influence the smooth-running of the court system in Ghana.
This writer is worried of the type of Jurisprudence Professor Obeng Mensah is using as a yardstick to address Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice and Democratic Principles in Ghana. We need Jurisprudence that serves the interest of the people of Ghana but not an institution. The current writer is humbly suggesting that the Regional Supervisory Judges must be a four-year elected position. Each Regional Supervisory Judge shall be elected by the regional citizenry and such judge shall be paid very well. The judge must prove to the citizenry based on her or his output at the end of the term. The citizenry will vote for her or him again if only the judge served their interest of the people for the past four years. It will also be in the interest of the people of Ghana for all judges to be paid very well to minimize corruption in the Judicial System. The current administration in Ghana which prides herself as Rule of Law Government must take swift steps to address the issues raised to help democracy to take roots in Ghana.
In fact, the world now knows that a member of the Think-Tank of the Ghana Judiciary in the capacity of Professor Obeng-Mensah has failed miserably to plan, manage and source funds to supply basic inputs for the smooth-running of the Ghana Judiciary. The Legal Luminary, Professor Obeng Mensah wrote in paragraph 8 of his article, entitled, ' Re: Can Judicial Inefficiency Lead to Mob Justice?' which appeared on Ghanaweb on July 21, 2007, and he rants on, " The courts run short of books and other basic tools like record books, stationery, which to type appeal records, writing pens, and even dockets with which to get new cases ready. The type writers are breaking down continually because they are twenty years old." Yes, we understand your ranting, Professor! What is stopping the Think-Tank of the Ghana Judicial System to be creative to endeavor to raise funds from the community to serve the Good People of Ghana?
Fellow Ghanaians, who is responsible for such gross negligence and inadequacies in our country? We hold the likes of Professor Obeng Mensah who claim to be members of the Think-Tank of the Ghana Judiciary responsible for the inefficiency of the system and it is about time for them to own up to their responsibilities and to take Flowering-Spirit-Criticism in good faith. Ghanaians do acknowledge the improvements in the Judicial System, however, it is not good enough and we deserve a better service than what is prevailing now in the country. The Judiciary does not have the birthright to go on three months vacation while deluge of unheard cases are piled up in the court system. The courts should have Night Sittings to off-load the system to allow democracy to reign in Ghana.
The exponents of Open-Society will not allow Professor Obeng Mensah and his clique to pay a mere lip-service to the divine concepts of Human Rights, Rule of Law, Justice and Democratic principles. Flowering-Spirit Criticism is sine qua non of every human institution and that includes the Ghana Judiciary and it gives life to Democracy. We pray that our new Chief Justice, Justice Georgina Wood will take the swift measures to off-load the courts of unheard cases. The above discourse is not a condemnation of our noble institution, the Ghana Judiciary but rather a Flowering-Spirit-Criticism which will give it breathe of life.

By Rev. Yaw Obeng-Aduasare, M. Div.
Staten Island, New York


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.