General Politics

New CJ will not necessarily make for a better judiciary – Agyeman-Duah replies Mahama

Former United Nations (UN) Senior Advisor, Prof Baffour Agyeman-Duah, has absolved Chief Justice (CJ) Kwasi Anin-Yeboah from blame over the ‘broken image’ that former President John Dramani Mahama claims the judiciary suffers.

In an interview with TV3 on August 29, he intimated that the judiciary per research has always had institutional problems.

According to him, the former President’s assertion that a new Chief Justice can be able to address the issues confronting the judiciary was not ‘very true’.

He was quick to add that change remains a possibility if the new Chief justice will initiate reforms.

“As you do know, [John Mahama] did point out or rather he singled out the Chief Justice, suggesting that perhaps a new Chief Justice can make things better.

“That in itself for me is not very true because the issue is an institutional problem,” Prof Agyeman-Duah said.

The Co-founder of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) added that research suggests that the issues bedeviling the judiciary were from the ground level.

He opined that it will take a major initiative on the path of all stakeholders to try and resolve the problems.
“it is right from the ground to the upstairs.

“That is to say magistrates in districts all the way through the various levels of the justice system, all the way to the Supreme Court.

“So, changing the Chief Justice by itself will not necessarily make for a better perception unless we assume that another Chief Justice will have the courage to initiate reforms to make it dynamic.”

“The point here is that it is systemic and, therefore, will require a major initiative by all stakeholders,” Prof Agyeman-Duah further stated.

Former President Mahama at a forum held for lawyers of the National Democratic Congress on August 28 lamented that the judiciary has a ‘broken image’ under the current leadership of the Chief Justice.

He said Ghanaians were fast losing trust in the judiciary owing to some of its unanimous decisions – a situation he explains was dangerous to the country’s democracy.

He stated that it will only take a new Chief Justice to chart a path of regaining public trust in the judiciary.

“There is therefore the urgent need for the Ghanaian Judiciary to work to win the trust and confidence of the citizenry and erase the widely held perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings at the highest courts of the land.

“Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our judiciary can lead such a process of change. We can only hope that a new Chief Justice will lead a process to repair the broken image that our judiciary has acquired over the last few years,” Mahama submitted over the weekend.

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