Barima Yaw Oppong Kodie (left), the Director of the Ghana School of Law, receiving the first auctioned copy of the book from Justice Prof. Date-Bah
Barima Yaw Oppong Kodie (left), the Director of the Ghana School of Law, receiving the first auctioned copy of the book from Justice Prof. Date-Bah

Retired judge launches book on justice delivery

A former Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Kwasi Nkrumah Aduama Osei, has launched a book that sheds light on justice delivery in the country.

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Titled “Dispensing Justice in a Society in Flux: Walking the tightrope”, the book explores areas such as delays in the justice delivery system and how that affects public trust in the judiciary challenges and bottlenecks that inhibit effective justice delivery as well as the interaction between the law and society.

The book also provides an in-depth analysis into the concept of justice, the law and legal system of Ghana and their evolution, and factors to be considered by lawyers and judges in the pursuit of justice.

The launch of the book, held at the Law Court complex in Accra, attracted many notable names in the legal fraternity, including lawyers, serving and retired judges as well as the clergy.

They included the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Yaw Asare Darko, who represented the Chief Justice, and the immediate past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Very Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante.

Also in attendance were two justices of the Supreme Court, Justices Mariama Owusu and Avril Lovelace-Johnson; a retired Justice of the apex court, Justice Samuel Date-Bah, who chaired the event, the Director of the Ghana School of Law, Barima Yaw Oppong Kodie, the Dean of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Prof. Kofi Abotsi.

Interpretation of the law

In an interview with the media, Justice Osei said he wrote the book in order to use his experience to positively shape the law and justice delivery.

He said a judge had a primary duty of applying the law in a manner that would promote justice, peace and social cohesion.

He stressed that judges do not just apply the law but they must interpret the law within the powers confined on them by law.

“When a judge is interpreting the law, he or she must interpret it within the context of the case before him or her or else that would not be justice,” he said.

Great contribution

Mr Dame said Justice Osei was an excellent adjudicator who extolled virtues such as humility and, therefore, it was great news for the legal community for him to have contributed his knowledge to the law literature.

“It cannot be disputed that Justice Osei is one person who exhibited all the qualities of a classic common law judge.

Very gentle in his deposition, calmness in moderation of proceedings, patience and gravity of hearing, and above all, his intellectual fortitude cannot be doubted at all,” he said.

The Attorney-General described the book as a well researched intellectual material that gave an insight into the legal history of the country and critical issues at the heart of the justice delivery system such as the use of discretionary powers by judges to ensure that the law contributed positively to the development of society.

“The most interesting chapter for me was the closing one, titled: ‘walking the tightrope between judgeship and justiceship’ where he drew a distinction between a judge and a justice.

He defines judgeship as just related to the office and work of a judge and justiceship as the dignity associated with the position of a judge.

Highlighting the dignity of a judge, he talks about ‘‘justicia maturity and all that goes into justiceship,” he said.

Commendation

Justice Prof.  Date-Bah said the book highlighted many things judges ought to take into consideration before dispensing justice.

“I commend Justice Osei for his analysis of many Ghanaian cases and his deep reflections on them in the book,” he said.

Writer’s email : [email protected]

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