Co-founder of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah says the bad perception about the country’s judiciary cannot be blamed on the current Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.
He insists that the problem is institutional and can only be tackled from the bottom of the judicial ladder upward.
Prof Agyeman-Duah made these remarks in an interview on TV3‘s Ghana Tonight on Monday, August 29. He was speaking to host Alfred Ocansey.
The former UN Senior Governance Advisor was speaking in the wake of concerns raised by former President John Dramani Mahama that the image of the judiciary is badly damaged.
Addressing lawyers at the 2nd Annual Lawyers Conference of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Mahama on Sunday, August 28 said the damage done to the image of the judiciary will only need a new Chief Justice to repair.
“Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our judiciary can lead such a process of change. We can only hope that the new Chief Justice will lead the process to repair the broken image that our judiciary has acquired over the last few years.”
But speaking on the issue, Prof Agyeman-Duah said it is “not very true” that things will be better with a new Chief Justice.
“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 issues is an institutional problem,” Prof Agyeman-Duah said.
He said most researches conducted on the perception of the judiciary indicate that “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.”
He emphasised: “The point here is that it is systemic and, therefore, will require a major initiative by all stakeholders.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana