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Opinions of Friday, 16 August 2013

Columnist: Addo, Frederick Nii

Respect and love for democratic values and principles

In which manner could we assist in providing an enabling environment for efficient discharge of duties of the judicial service in making the rule of law and democracy thrive in Ghana?

I’m quoting a powerful mission statement of the judiciary services by her ladyship Mrs Theodora Georgina wood;

‘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 fulfilment of this mandate, the Judiciary under the authority of the Chief Justice intends to; uphold the independence of the Judiciary, Show commitment to the true and proper interpretation of the Constitution and laws of Ghana. 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.

In this Endeavour, the Chief Justice counts on all citizens of Ghana, institutions and organizations in Ghana and all men and women of goodwill throughout the world 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.’ End of quote.

In respect of the sanctity of the third arm of Government, all citizens of Ghana are highly encouraged to actively champion the fight for democratic values and principles.

It is our shared responsibility to respect all democratic institutions, as well as men and women entrusted with numerous duties thereby contributing to its total development. An in-depth scrutiny of the key symbols of the Republic of Ghana; The Ghana coat of arms, Ghana flag, National anthem, national pledge and our constitution should move us together as one towards a long term economic development plan. We have one GHANA, one Nation and one People. The Ghana coat of arms composed of a shield divided into four quarters by a green St. George cross rimmed with gold, alongside with our national aspiration or motto freedom and justice merits our deep respect wherever it is found and people entrusted with power at that place. Rule of law can be achieved through consistent engagement, interaction and information sharing with civil society on issues of public interest.

Ghana’s judiciary has a passion for justice, with a high sense of integrity both institutionally and substantially which guarantees respect for its credibility and legitimacy. Judges are familiar with codes and principles of judicial ethics and commit themselves absolutely to the integrity, competence, diligence, transparency, impartiality, propriety, equality in treatment, and separation of powers demanded by the various instruments. We are very grateful to our high learned lordships that have proved their sense of duty for the past years, and in particular concerning the excellent manner the current Supreme Court case is handled. As citizens of GHANA, we have a collective responsibility not only to guard our motto ‘freedom and justice’ but to uphold the good name of GHANA by our words and deeds by enabling a suitable environment for judicial proceedings and decisions. In respect of our maturity and love for our motherland GHANA, we must eschew any indulgement which undermines democracy and the rule of law which may lead to violation of human rights and other threats to human security. We should avoid all evil phenomenons which could be destructive to our lovely GHANA. It is our duty to hold in high esteem our status as the beacon of democracy on the African continent by enabling a favourable environment for democratic institutions to function with efficiency.

It is our collective responsibility to implement measures for poverty alleviation and long term economic development plan towards job creation, peace and stability.

We should be mindful of the preamble of our current constitution, I quote “ IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD, we the people of GHANA, in exercise of our natural and inalienable right to establish a framework of government which shall secure for ourselves and prosperity the blessing of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity: in a spirit of friendship and peace with all peoples of the world: and in solemn declaration and affirmation of our commitment to; Freedom, Justice, probity and accountability; The principle that all powers of Government spring from the sovereign Will of the people; The principle of Universal Adult Suffrage; The Rule of Law; The protection and preservation of fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Unity and Stability for our Nation.

With respect to our love and maturity for our motherland GHANA, AND IN THE NAME OFGOD, it is our shared responsibility as citizens of GHANA, from today onwards to actively champion the fight for the respect and love for Democratic values and principles. Proof to your neighbors and all GHANAIANS you meets that you are matured please!!!

We should rest assured that our high learned lordships will render Justice with the fear of God, with integrity, fairness and according to law.


(This discussion is without prejudice to the outcome of current judicial proceedings that is the Judges who have the final say)

Frederick Nii ADDO, Advocate for Efficient Democratic Institutions in Africa. Strasbourg, FRANCE.