The Judicial Service last Saturday held a special service at The Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Accra to officially signify the start of the 2018/2019 legal year.
The occasion brought together the clergy, judges, lawyers and other stakeholders in the justice delivery system of the country, with the common purpose of seeking divine intervention during the new legal year which begins today.
Present at the event were also the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo; the Attorney-General (AG), Ms Gloria Akuffo; the President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Anthony Forson, among other dignitaries.
The 61st legal year special service was on the theme: “ Quality Justice Delivery: A Shared Responsibility”.
It began with a procession of judges and lawyers, led by the Chief Justice, to the church premises, and after the service, there was a cocktail at the forecourt of the Supreme Court building.
The legal year is from October to July and it commences after the legal vacation (August-September) when justices of the superior courts go on recess.
During the legal vacation, the lower courts and some High courts continue to operate, so that the wheels of justice will not grind to a halt.
In a sermon, the Catholic Archbishop of Cape Coast, the Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, said the law was a noble profession and as such its practitioners must indulge in good works that gave glory to God.
Touching on the theme, he said quality justice delivery was not only about quality judges and lawyers but also practitioners who feared God.
“The Judiciary is the first estate of the three arms of government. It, therefore, has to be the true salt and light of the world.
Let your light shine and leave a good record for posterity,’’ he urged the members of the Judiciary.
The Most Rev. Palmer-Buckle, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, advised judges, lawyers and staff of the Judiciary to be passionate about their work.
Ms Justice Akuffo urged stakeholders in the justice delivery system to deepen their collaboration and see their duty as a collective effort meant to safeguard the rule of law and provide justice for all.
“We may sit in different chairs and different places in the courtroom but our duty is a singular one — to ensure that every person who comes to seek justice is given a fair hearing and each case is heard and decided on its merit,’’ she said.
She lauded judges, lawyers and staff of the Judicial Service for their commitment to an effective justice system for the country, stressing: “Our country is one of laws and we are the essential tool in ensuring that it remains so.’’
The Chief Justice pledged to continue her quest of ensuring that the Judicial Service was adequately resourced to make its work more efficient and effective.
Some of the lawyers who spoke to the Daily Graphic said they were optimistic that justice delivery would improve during the legal year.
They said the vision of the Judicial Service to fully automate the courts would go a long way to fast-track the adjudication of cases.