Judges and Magistrates have expressed outrage over what they see as unwarranted and unjustified attacks on their people and the Judiciary.
Former President John Mahama, speaking at the NDC Lawyers’ Conference on August 28, criticised the judiciary, calling it a “damaged image.”
There have recently been flaming accusations of the judiciary from various opposition party personalities, with perceptions that the institution is a “Unanimous FC”, a term created to connote the collectiveness of thoughts in recent Supreme Court judegments.
Nonetheless, Justice Henry Kwofie, President of the Association of Magistrates and Judges, stated during the annual conference for Judges and Magistrates in Accra that such “unnecessary” attacks harm the credibility of the court.
“You all acknowledge that the Judiciary as an institution, and Judges in general, have been the subject of a great deal of rhetoric, attacks, and judgments of our courts, even judgments of the highest court of the land, have been attacked, and the Judges who delivered the same judgements have not been swerved.”
“Casting doubt on judges’ motives, in my opinion, undermines the judiciary’s integrity.As a result of these unwarranted and persistent attacks, the Association has issued statements in the first three to four terms to correct the erroneous perception and purposeful misinformation and fabrication churned out against the judiciary.”
According to Justice Henry Kwofie, judges are not opposed to people exercising their right to free speech by criticising judges, as has been said.
“The Association should not be interpreted as opposing criticism of judges or the judiciary. “Criticism, if constructive, helps to improve any performance and makes the various performers sit up, but that is not what we have been witnessing recently in the news and on other social media platforms,” he continued.
Yaw Acheampong Boafo, President of the Ghana Bar Association, offered the Bar’s support in defending the reputation of judges and the Judiciary.
“The judicial system is not flawless or infallible. However, the ideal tools and methods for improving and correcting the Judiciary’s work are constructive criticisms and superior arguments, not activities that target their personality, undermine their independence, disgrace the administration of justice, and risk their security and safety.
“I pledge the Ghana Bar Association’s support in upholding the noble profession and the honour and dignity that the judiciary deserves,” he stated.