Former President John Dramani Mahama has stressed the need for judicial reforms to restore absolute trust and confidence in the country’s justice delivery system.
Mr Mahama noted that the reforms were necessary due to the diminishing public trust in the Judiciary which must be the backbone of democracy and rule of law in the country.
In a virtual address to close the 3rd Lawyers conference organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Lawyers Association at Akosombo in the Eastern Region last Saturday, Mr Mahama noted that the reforms must not be imposed by the Executive arm of government but with the collaboration of the Judiciary.
Buttressing his call for the reforms, Mr Mahama said: “All opinion polling and other surveys that have been done showed that the reputation of our Judiciary is at its lowest and we all know what has contributed to this.”
“There have been low level of credibility with the Judiciary.
Our people have always felt that there is monetary influence that influences judgment in both civil and criminal case and you remember the Anas’ exposé that led to the dismissal of some judges,” he said.
Mr Mahama, who is also the 2024 flag bearer of the NDC, observed that the influence of the Judiciary had metamorphosed into partisanship which had manifested in “bizarre” decisions on politically related cases.
“But it has gone beyond monetary inducement.
Now, it is also seen that the Judiciary is partisan and a lot of people feel that justice is not served in many cases and we bear the brunt of that.
You feel that the judiciary is partisan and in many cases some of the decisions are quite bizarre.
“We do believe that there must be some reforms of the Judiciary in order to bolster its reputation and make it an independent institution that not only Ghanaians, but foreign investors and any person who is in the jurisdiction of Ghana can trust.
“So this must be something the Executive cannot impose on the Judiciary but the Judiciary and the Executive working together can work to improve the stature of the judiciary,” he said.
Mr Mahama also charged the legal team of the NDC to, as part of the discussions, have a look at how the Executive and members of the Judiciary can work together to improve the image of the Ghanaian Judiciary.
“I believe that if the image of the Judiciary is improved, it will inure to the benefit of those who work in the court, the judges and the Judicial Service workers, he said.
Mr Mahama also gave an assurance that his appointees under his next administration who are accused of corruption would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He said those appointees would be handed to the constitutionally mandated institutions to be dealt with.