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The image of our judiciary has deteriorated – Former AG

The image of our judiciary has deteriorated – Former AG

Betty Mould-Iddrisu, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, has observed that there is a genuine lack of trust in Ghana’s judiciary.

She implied that the people’s criticism of the judiciary reflects their lack of trust in the system.

“The people of Ghana express it in their various interviews as a form of criticism of the judiciary,” she said on 3FM’s Sunrise show on Monday, October 3. There is a widespread belief that trust in the judiciary has eroded.”

“It’s a national security issue when you suspect that certain branches of the judiciary are being manipulated.” It’s not right if people believe they can’t get justice in court,” she adds.

Her remarks come as Ghanaian judges and magistrates respond to recent criticisms levelled at them by members of Ghanaian society, including former President John Dramani Mahama.

The judges say they welcome constructive criticism but not unwarranted attacks on the judiciary’s integrity.

Justice Henry Kwofie, President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges, spoke at the annual conference for Judges and Magistrates in Accra. “You all recognize that the Judiciary as an institution, and Judges in general, have been the subject of quite a bit of rhetoric, attacks, and judgments of our courts, even judgments of the highest court of the land, have been attacked, and the Judges who delivered the same judgements have not been swerved.”

 ” In my opinion, casting doubt on Judges’ motives undermines the Judiciary’s integrity. As a result of these unnecessary and persistent attacks, the Association has issued statements in the first three to four terms to correct the erroneous impression and deliberate misinformation and falsehood churned out against the judiciary.”

“The Association must not be misinterpreted as opposing criticism of Judges or the Judiciary. Criticism, if constructive, helps to improve any sitting and makes the various actors sit up, but that is not what we have been seeing recently in the press and on various social media platforms,” he added.

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“The judicial system is not perfect or infallible.” However, the proper tools and methods for improving and correcting the Judiciary’s work are constructive criticisms and superior arguments, not acts that target their personality, undermine their independence, dishonor the administration of justice, and endanger their security and safety. “I pledge the Ghana Bar Association’s support to uphold the noble profession and the honor and dignity that the Judiciary deserves,” he said.

Former President Mahama recently stated that the brand image of Ghana’s judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, has been severely harmed.

According to him, the judiciary has recently been subjected to public ridicule because people no longer believe they can obtain justice.

Mr Mahama, whose election petition was unanimously dismissed by the highest court of the land following the 2020 general elections, hinted that the time has come for the judiciary to undergo self-cleansing, but that the current Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, cannot lead that process.

On Sunday, August 28, he spoke at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC2nd)’s Annual Lawyers Conference.

“Recently, the image of our judiciary has deteriorated so badly that many of our citizens openly mock our justice system and our justices.” The phrase “go to court” is now met with mockery rather than hope that one will truly obtain justice if he goes to court.

“If people aren’t making jokes about politics and inducement being used to sway the hand of justice in the lower courts, they’re making jokes and statements about the 7:0 of the unanimous FC, verdicts that mostly involve cases of a political nature in our Supreme Court, which is an unfortunate but serious development.”

One of the most frightening existential threats to any democracy is when citizens believe their judiciary has no value for them or is of no use to them; this is the security threat that the National Security apparatus recently attempted to draw the nation’s attention to, but was met with disdain by the President and his party. It is frightening because it threatens our country’s peace and stability.

“It is frightening because it threatens the peace and stability of our democracy, and we must act quickly to correct this rapidly spreading misconception.” If we do not exercise caution, we will reach a point where people will have no qualms about taking the law into their own hands because they do not believe they will find justice in the system. As a result, the Ghanaian judiciary must work urgently to regain the trust and confidence of the citizenry and dispel the widely held perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings at the highest court of the land.

“Unfortunately, we have no hope that our judiciary’s current leadership can lead such a change process; we can only hope that the new Chief Justice will lead the process to repair the broken image that our judiciary has acquired over the last few years.”

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