Judiciary will ensure people’s participation in administration of justice -Chief Justice

Leadership of the Judiciary poses with Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, Daasebre Osei Bonsu and Nana Adusei Atwenewaa Ampem

His Lordship Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Chief Justice (CJ), has stated that justice emanated from the people, and that the people had a right to participate in its administration, which position called on the judiciary to see it as a duty to facilitate that participation at all times.

Delivering the keynote address at the 4th Annual Chief Justice’s Forum, held in Kumasi under the theme: “Improving access to justice in a pandemic through the use of technology,” he indicated that the forum was predicated on the desire to democratise justice in terms of its administration and access.

The Annual Chief Justice’s Forum is designed to engage stakeholders from across the country and held in a different region each year on a rotational basis, and includes representation from the Judicial Service, in both its judicial and administrative capacities; the House of Chiefs; Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State; Local authorities; the Security Services; Non-Governmental Organisations; the Ghana Bar Association; Academia; Commerce and Industry; Faith-based organisations, and ordinary citizens.

According to the CJ, the forum was a manifestation of the constitutional prescription provided for under Article 35 (6) (d) of the1992 Constitution, to, among other things, afford all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision-making at every level in national life.

He said the occasion would serve as strategic and critical stakeholders in the administration of justice, to speak, to listen, to introspect, to challenge the status quo, and perhaps, more importantly, to propose viable contemporary solutions that would radically enhance the delivery of justice in Ghana for the current and future generations.

He expressed the hope that the diversity in the make-up of participants at the forum would provide the needed diversity of opinion and ideas that would guarantee the fruitfulness of debate and decision-making at the forum.

The Chief Justice reiterated that the theme particularly resonates with the ongoing debate on the intersection between public health, law, justice and technology, resulting from the disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that although most restrictions had been lifted, COVID-19 remained with us and continued to influence our decisions, actions and work.

He said it was important to strike a balance between remaining committed to their mandate of delivering justice, while managing the pandemic and its resultant disruptions within the context of existing financial, infrastructural, administrative and human resource constraints.

He disclosed that the narrative of the impact of technology on justice delivery was no different, noting that technology had afforded us an opportunity to cut costs, be more efficient, and avoid unnecessary delays in administering justice.

The CJ announced that for the first time in the history of the judiciary, vacation courts in Accra held virtual sittings, which, he said, meant that lawyers who were even abroad on vacation could participate remotely, provided they were properly attired with good internet connectivity.

He stressed that the impact of technology on our justice delivery system in Ghana was further evidenced by the Judicial Service’s E-Justice system, which had made it possible for court users to file processes and make payments without necessarily coming to the court premises.

“In some instances, lawyers even receive emails about adjournments as the system has also made it possible for relevant administrative persons to allocate cases to judges, track the progress of cases, store electronic copies of case dockets, and generate important statistics,” he said.


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