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Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo

CJ pushes for financial independence of Judiciary

BY MUNTALLA INUSAH|                      

Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo

THE CHIEF Justice, Sophia Akuffo has called on the government to put in measures and mechanisms to ensure that the Judiciary is financially independent as envisaged by the Constitution.

She said, although the Constitution guarantees the judiciary financial independence, such was not the case in practical terms, hence the need to ensure that such becomes a reality.

The CJ made this call when he was addressing the 38th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJG) held in Accra on the theme ‘Independence of the Judiciary- The Way forward.’

Ms Akuffo explained that the judiciary had been subjected to the same budgetary constraints as Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) but the judiciary in law, does not form part of these MDA’s.

“The judiciary does not receive all its releases even after its budget has been approved annually. Payment of these releases also delay unreasonably,” she stated.

Justice Akuffo added that those militating factors were negatively affecting key projects like the e-Justice Project, as well as the smooth operation of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service as a whole.

Touching on infrastructure, she said any court, which did not befit the status of a court, would be closed down, and Magistrates and Judges from these courts would be given new places.

Digitisation drive                                                

On her part, Ms Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Justice and Attorney General said one key way of coping with the world is the digitisation drive and the justice delivery arm of government and the Judiciary could not be exempted.

According to her, the adoption of video conferences and filing of processes online could cut down cost and appealed to the Judges and Magistrates to embrace Information and Communications Technology.

There were some fraternal messages from the Ghana Bar Association and Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana.

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