Gertrude Torkornoo (left), the Chief Justice, addressing the durbar in Cape Coast
Gertrude Torkornoo (left), the Chief Justice, addressing the durbar in Cape Coast

Don’t denigrate judicial system with extortionist behaviours - Chief Justice to judicial staff

The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship, Gertrude Araba Sackey Torkornoo, has admonished judicial service workers to desist from extortionist behaviours that denigrate the image of the service.

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She said that the service was a noble institution and, therefore, employees must ensure they exhibit high moral values to repose public trust and confidence in the country's justice system.

"Don't come to work with the intention of getting your daily bread out of people who have come to court to seek justice.

“Courts are like hospitals, people come only because they have trouble.

If they could solve the problem they wouldn't have come here, and so don't use the time of somebody's pain to give them more pain.

It's not good enough," Justice Torkornoo said.

The Chief Justice, who was addressing judicial service staff at a workers’ durbar in Cape Coast in the Central Region last Monday, however, said the fact that there was law and order in the country was indicative of some confidence in the justice system which she commended the staff for.

Stewardship

Justice Torkornoo further reminded the workers that "we are a public service; we are servants, and we are here to serve the people".

"If you don't like the job because we won't allow you to be demanding money you can give me my job back.

“Focus on serving and blessings will follow.

Put in the right attitude to work.

Give the world professionalism and diligence to deepen the integrity of the judicial service," she added.

The Chief Justice also urged them to keep the affairs of courts confidential while charging court managers and registrars to ensure discipline without fear or favour.

E-justice

Justice Torkornoo said her outfit was working to upgrade its automation system by directing transcription services to electronic-justice infrastructure.

She said upon completion of the system, almost all services would gradually be migrated onto the electronic platform.

They include e-filing, e-case distribution, e-hearing and e-execution.

The Chief Justice, therefore, advised staff to upgrade themselves, saying "if you are a bailiff and it's difficult for you to find your way in the e-service space, then your service would not be needed anymore”.

She also encouraged them to undertake some studies in Law, because "a lot of our inefficiencies come not because people don't want to do their work, but because they lack an appreciation of the legal landscape which affects the quality of work".

Justice Torkornoo said her outfit would engage with the Judicial Training Institute on how staff could be trained to make the delivery of justice more efficient and effective.

She also pledged to construct a new court complex in Cape Coast.

Concerns

The President of JUSAG, Samuel Afotey Otu, expressed concerns over delays in the completion and implementation of salary reviews which he said caused a lot of distress for members.

He said while putting in place measures to ensure the delivery of justice, much might not be achieved unless the human resource needs of workers were adequately taken care of.

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Mr Otu, nonetheless, pledged the support of JUSAG to efficient justice delivery.

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