”Don’t surrender to unjustified criticisms ”- Chief Justice to judges
The Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has urged judges to be firm in discharging their duties, even in the face of ”unjust” criticisms.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) in Accra, Justice Anin Yeboah stated that, the judiciary was not above criticism, and that fair and constructive criticisms are necessary for the development of the judiciary.
The Chief Justice also emphasized the need for judges to be resolute and unmoved in upholding the rule of law at all times since people have a right to opine on the judiciary within the limits of the law.
“We cannot forbid people from expressing their sentiments in the public space but unsubstantiated allegations against judges, physical and verbal threats and attacks on judges are tantamount to perverting the course of justice,” he said.
The statement made by Justice Anin Yeboah was in reaction to public debate on judicial independence and the accusations by former President John Dramani Mahama to the effect that the independence of the judiciary was compromised.
The assertions by John Dramani Mahama were condemned by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who described them as baseless and unacceptable from a person who once occupied the highest office of the land.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo also waded into the conversation and urged the general public to resist persons who disparaged the judiciary for their parochial and political interests.
The chief Justice also said that, some court decisions had evoked criticisms based on misinterpretation and misunderstanding of those decisions in an effort to put pressure on the judiciary. He urged judges not to be perturbed but rather continue to stick to the tenets of the law.
“The misinterpretation and misunderstanding of court decisions, regardless of the motives with which they are done and the pressures they exert on you should not cause you to waiver in your fidelity to the law.”
“Yours is to dispense justice and uphold the rule of law irrespective of public drama. As judges and magistrates, you must always withstand such pressures, as anything contrary to that will be a departure from the rule of law,” he said.