Editors-PickGhanaHeadlineHuman RightsLeadershipLegalNewsPower SectorUncategorized

I will “fight” for a financially independent Judiciary – Chief Justice assures judges

The Chief Justice said admittedly, the Judicial Service in its current state, cannot be said to be financially independent as provide by law

Chief Justice of the Republic, Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, has assured magistrates and judges in the country that she will work hard to build a Judiciary that will truly be financially independent as specified and demanded by Article 127 (1) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) at the Labadi Beach Hotel on Wednesday, 27 September 2023, under the theme; A Financially Independent and Accountable Judiciary: The Key to Effective Justice Delivery” the Chief Justice said admittedly, the Judicial Service in its current state, cannot be said to be financially independent as stipulated in the 1992 constitution of the republic.

“A few days after my nomination to succeed His Lordship Anin Yeboah, I was met with the heat of a strike by Judicial Service staff. Though I was not yet in the seat of leadership, the fact of the nomination required that I walk through the situation with the Acting Chief Justice and the Judicial Council and experience the stressful circumstances of the financial problems that we are discussing in today’s conference.

“The complaint and demands of our staff unions were absolutely supported by law and the facts of economic conditions. At the end of the negotiations, many compromises and sacrifices had to be made by Judicial Service staff in order for them to just keep serving the people of Ghana while regrouping to strategize on a more structured model for obtaining the required increases to their emoluments” Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo said.

“Given the fact that the Judicial Service is an institution of critical national security, that experience of the strike, and the need to respond to the extremely legitimate needs of the staff under the care of this arm of government, is another reason to begin strong conversations on the structures of financial releases for the Judiciary and Judicial Service and I give you my commitment that I will give absolutely dedicated attention to the issue of financial independence of the Judiciary, ” the Chief Justice further remarked.

Politicizing the Judiciary

On the issue of politicization of the work of the judiciary and for that matter, the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice said the data available to her points to the fact that cases before the Supreme Court for example have very little to do with politics and politically exposed persons as compared to everyday issues that affect the ordinary people of the country.

“Yesterday I was looking at the data on cases having political content or cases involving person who are politically exposed which are pending at the Supreme Court. Out of 597 pending cases, there were only 7 cases about such persons.

“Now, this data shows that conversations about the politicization of the courts are really not necessary because the political content of our work is so insignificant” Chief Justice Torkornoo said.

“Every day, we are dealing with property, we are dealing with tort, we are dealing with criminal matters, are dealing with all sort of issues with the people of Ghana. When we have the data out there, I believe the nation will appreciate that we serve everybody” she added.

Delayed allowances

Justice Henry Kwofie, the President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG), in his statement said Judges and Magistrates in Ghana have concerned about delays in the payment of their allowances that are legitimately due to them.

He indicated that while they are aware of the economic challenges in the country, they are of the considered opinion that the delays are negatively affecting Justice delivery and same must to addressed.

“The question of the financial situation of the Judiciary, judges and magistrates appear to be top on the priority of judges and magistrates across the country. There have been serious discussions among us, particularly, this year, about serious delays in the payment of various allowances of judges and magistrates not only this year, but over the years” Justice Henry Kwofie said.

“At several meetings of the national executives on one side and also the national board, there was near unanimity that the issue of delayed payment of allowances such as for fuel, leave, medical allowances, book allowances, these issues and the delays was clearly seen as a hinderance to the effective delivery of justice” the AMJG president added.

65% IGF

To this end, he called on government to take immediate steps to address the short falls in the budget of the third arm of government (Judiciary) which is largely responsible in the view of magistrates and judges, for the delay in the payments.

The AMJG also called on government to consider allowing the Judicial Service to retain up to 65% of her internally generated funds (IGF) as compared to the current 30% the service is allowed to retain. Allowing the service to retain the proposed percentage the association believes, would help addressing the spending and budgetary gaps that the Judicial Service is currently faced with.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
Tune in to broadcasts 
online: www.asaaseradio.com, Sound Garden and TuneIn
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995
Live streaming on facebook.com/asaase99.5. Also on YouTube: 
Join the conversation. Call: 020 000 9951 or 059 415 7777. Or WhatsApp: 020 000 0995.






Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected