JUSTICES OF courts of law have been advised to sustain the credibility of the judicial system by adjudicating disputes and criminal complaints brought before them with the aptness it deserves.
The justices were also asked to uphold the hallmark of electoral justice system—the timeliness with which electoral disputes were disposed of and judgments and decisions fully enforced.
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood gave these words of advice to the justices when she opened a one-day workshop on election adjudication process for superior court justices and judges of the circuit courts, in Accra.
The training programme, sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID) of UK, was aimed at preparing the Judiciary in adjudicating disputes for the upcoming general elections.
It was also to offer the justices the opportunity to discuss the electoral laws of Ghana with focus on the revised Manual on Election Adjudication in Ghana, launched a few weeks ago.
Chief Justice Wood, in her opening remarks, stressed on the critical role the Judiciary played in assuring the legitimacy of the entire electoral process.
“At every stage of the up-coming national exercise, we remain the main protectors and defenders of all electoral rights,” she said.
The Chief Justice further noted that the justices of the courts of law had a constitutional duty to dispose of electoral cases expeditiously, to avoid the accompanying mistrust and suspicion that went with delayed justice.
“The timeliness, transparency, objectivity, integrity, impartiality, fairness, diligence and professionalism with which electoral complaints and disputes are fully, effectively and finally resolved in order to place the final seal of legitimacy on the election process, is very important,” she said.
She said as the country entered into its election season, the judicial system should assert their independence and be guided only by the evidence tendered before them and the applicable constitutional, statutory and decisional laws of the land.
She said as lead actors of the electoral justice system, the justices represented the ultimate guarantee of free, fair, and genuine elections, thus placing on them the enormous responsibility of ensuring that the entire electoral process conformed to the legal order or framework.
“I trust that you will not under any circumstances succumb to judicial influences,” she said.
Justice Jones Dotse, board chairman of the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) and justice of the Supreme Court, acting as the chair for the occasion, admonished the justices to be mindful of the comments they made when cases were brought before their courts.
He also urged them to do their best in ensuring election-related disputes were settled in time, so voters would not be deprived of their right to have their names written in the voters register.
Source Daily Guide Ghana