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Opinions of Monday, 23 May 2011

Columnist: Ashiagbor, Eddie

The Ghanaian Condition (Part 15)

OUR JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW

It can only happen in Ghana. The judges of the Supreme Court think and behave as if they are above the law and the Constitution of the land, otherwise how can they behave the way they did in debarring the four lawyers in plying their trade the way they did.

What is most reprehensible and obnoxious is that they could not wait for the Legal Council to adjudicate on their complaints before they took this drastic action thus depriving the clients of these lawyers their human and basic right of being represented by their lawyers.

Where were these judges when the former(the late)Chief Justice and the current Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Wood said in no uncertain terms that the Ghanaian Public do have a perception and do believe that the Judiciary is corrupt. Common sense tells us that if you are selling a product or rendering a public service and the consumers of your product or service are complaining that the product or service is not up to scratch, you do something about your product or service instead of blaming your clients.

How come that other service producers like the Police Service, Custom Service Immigration Service and other State Agencies can be deemed by the Public to be corrupt and none took the action that our judges took.

What at all is special about our Supreme Court Judges? After all who pays their salaries and all their perks?

My Lords,please if you can’t take the heat, you have a choice. Please do the decent thing and resign ---period. You can’t hold the country to a ransom because you are setting a very very bad and dangerous precedent which if not stopped now will lead us to a state of anarchy.

No Ghanaian be he/she a judge or what have you can and should deprive another of their livelihood nor deny another a fair legal representation of their choice except in a case where their legal representative is legally debarred from defending them by a competent court of law due to a proven malfeasance. May I remind our Judges of the well known common legal maxim that ‘You are never so high, the law is above you’. I am sure they were taught this simple legal dictum in their first year at law school.

In all these, what is most baffling and shocking the almost silent stand taken by the Ghana Bar Association which is the equivalent of the T.U.C representing all registered lawyers. If I were a lawyer I would think twice before paying my monthly or annual registration fees.

What is the point of belonging to an Association which when the chips are down, will not look or defend the interest of their members? For tempers to cool down for sober heads to prevail, I appeal to the Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Wood to call our Judges and Magistrates and have a quiet word in their ears for them to come off their high horses and let common sense prevail.