Chief Justice Sophia Akufo has bemoaned the perceived corruption in the judiciary and has assured the public that systems will be implemented to curb such practices.
According to her : “A perceived prevalence of double-dealing in the system does not help matters and the recent scandal uncovered by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas learnt credence to such concerns.
“We will never play the ostrich; we will never say that, that is under the bridge…We will continually be vigilant and we will continually put in measures, mechanisms and interventions that will ensure that the canker will be controlled and eventually completely excised hopefully the excision would even take place in my time” she said, adding “We need to constantly proceed as though there is something evil brewing in the mind of man and put in measures to deal with them”.
She made the remarks during a speech at the 2018 Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law Conference in Accra on Thursday, February 15.
The Chief Justice has also revealed that the judiciary will roll out online filing of court cases next month to improve justice delivery and eliminate human face interactions that hitherto thwarted the efforts of the Judiciary.
She highlighted the importance of “dynamism in the pursuit for justice” and the need to be “innovative”.
For her, steps must be taken to ensure productivity in the judiciary and “part of doing that is ensuring that we effectively eliminate the amount of face-to-face interventions other than inside the court. So mechanisms have already been put in place and are being extended to ensure that as much as possible dealings between litigants and officials of the courts particularly at the registry and at the clerical level is limited to only what is necessary.
“So, from the beginning of next month we will be rolling out the online filing system,” she stated.
According to her, the judiciary needs to be adequately funded to carry out its core mandate of quality justice delivery.
The Chief Justice said the judiciary cannot be reduced to appendage when it comes to allocation of funds to state institutions.
She further charged officers of the judicial service and police to help expedite trial of court cases to repose citizens confidence in the judiciary.
According to her, the practice where cases take longer periods in court only erodes the citizenry’s confidence which contributes to mob violence and other vices.
On his part, Chairman of the GIMPA Governing Council, Kofi Darko Asante, charged parliament and policy makers to tolerate views of the ordinary citizens on matters of national interest.
According to him, policy makers need to act in the interest of citizens and exercise restraints on national issues when necessary to enhance democratic governance.
Meanwhile, Dean of GIMPA Law School, Lawyer Ernest Kofi Abotsi has entreated litigants and critics not to expose the judiciary to destructive criticisms adding there is no alternative to the judiciary.