President Akufo-Addo urges Judiciary to uphold its reputation

Ken Sackey, GNA

Accra, June 19, GNA –
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday urged the Judiciary to uphold
its reputation in order to command the respect of the people.

He said it was
critical for the growth of the country that, that independent arm of government
was not viewed as an institution associated with partiality, perversion of
justice, corruption and impunity.

“It is critical for
the growth of our nation that we have a Judiciary that commands the respect of
the people by the nature of its delivery of justice, as well as by the
comportment of its judges. It is vitally important that we have judges who are
honest; possess integrity and a sound knowledge of the law.”

President Akufo-Addo
said this when he was swearing into office, the thirteenth Chief Justice of
Ghana, Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, at the Banquet hall of the State
House in Accra.

Justice Sophia Akuffo,
with over three decades experience as a jurist, is the second female chief
Justice of the Republic. She took over from Justice Georgina Theodora Wood who
retired from office this month.

The President said it
was unacceptable, the situation where 
judges proffered judgements on the basis of decisions from lower courts
and cited them as law, “and even less so, when judges cite no authority at all
for their rulings, and give orders without reasons.”

“Our judges must be
learned, know their case law and ensure that their judgements are properly
motivated…that is the only way the rule of precedent, the principle of stare
decisis, can operate, which, according to the well-known common law doctrine,
promotes the even-handed, predictable, and consistent development of legal
principles, fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and contributes to the
actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo
however stated that it was indisputable that the Judiciary, in the Fourth
Republic, had generally discharged its duties creditably and responsibly,
though he found himself on the wrong end of the decision in the famous election
petition of 2013.

“A favourable decision
on the day could have meant, perhaps, that this was my second term in office,
rather than the commencement of my mandate,” he joked.

The attachment of the
Ghanaian people to the rule of law made it possible for us, in the New
Patriotic Party, to entrust our fate to the highest court in the land in the
aftermath of the disputed elections of 2012. It also enabled the country to
move on, in unity and stability, after the Court handed down its verdict,” he


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