Support for Chief Justice's initiatives crucial

Support for Chief Justice's initiatives crucial

The Judiciary is a pivotal pillar in governance, playing a vital role in upholding the principles of democracy within our nation. 


Tasked with safeguarding and interpreting the laws of our land, the judiciary serves to promote peace, social cohesion and stability by ensuring justice is administered on behalf of the citizenry.

Article 25 of the 1992 Constitution stipulates the independence of the judiciary, emphasising its sole allegiance to the Constitution. To effectively fulfill its duties and uphold its independent status, it is imperative for the judiciary to continually evolve its practices, procedures and service delivery to meet public expectations in order to foster trust.

Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo's recent launch of the "LEADing Justice" initiative marks a significant step towards implementing an efficient justice delivery system in our country. This strategic framework is centered on leveraging technology to enhance the speed and transparency of our justice system.

The initiative comprises 12 guidelines, directions and a manual aimed at improving the expeditious disposal of cases. 

They include practice directions on award of cost; practice directions on adjournments and adoption of proceedings in part heard trials in courts; practice directions on commercial pre- trial settlement under High Procedure Amendment Rules 2020, C.I. 133; practice directions on Court Connected ADR under High Court Civil Procedure Amendment Rules 2020, C. I. 133 and Practice Directions in respect of Prerogative Writs involving Chiefs/Chieftaincy issues.

There are also practice directions on Plea Bargaining 2024; practice directions for determination of applications for interlocutory injunctions to restrain burial of a deceased person; administrative guidelines on procedures for online publication of judgments rulings; administrative directions on courtroom proceedings and administrative directions to aid expeditious disposal of trials by jury.

The Daily Graphic applauds Chief Justice Torkornoo for introducing these reforms, particularly those targeting the reduction of undue delays in case adjudication. Prolonged litigation periods not only undermine the essence of justice but also deter individuals from seeking legal recourse, potentially endangering our country's peace.

While some case delays stem from strategic manoeuvres by the parties, others result from systemic inefficiencies within the justice delivery framework. For instance, we all know how many land cases have been litigated for years in our courts. 

Thus, the reforms introduced by the Chief Justice are a welcome step towards addressing these inefficiencies.

As a developing nation striving to attract investments for our progress, it is vital that our justice delivery system operates efficiently to maintain our appeal as an investment-friendly destination. The introduction of initiatives like the court shift system, which allows courts to operate morning and afternoon shifts to tackle case backlogs showcases the Chief Justice's commitment to improving our justice system.

However, the success of these initiatives hinges on collective support from all stakeholders in the justice delivery ecosystem. The Ghana Bar Association, Office of the Attorney-General, the Ghana Police Service, judges, judicial staff, and other relevant entities must rally behind the Chief Justice in her endeavour to build a justice system that aligns with our shared aspirations.

The Police in particular must ensure timely and accurate submission of evidence and case files to the courts to facilitate swift adjudication, promote ethical standards and professionalism in investigations and court appearances to enhance the efforts of the Chief Justice and collaborate with the judiciary in implementing the new technological solutions to improve communication and information sharing between them and the courts. 

This joint effort will not only uphold the rule of law but also help build trust and confidence among all citizens as well as the legal system. It is important that we unite in support of these crucial reforms to create a stronger and more just society where justice is accessible to all. 

Let us work together towards a judiciary that truly serves the needs of the people and upholds the principles of fairness and equality before the law.

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