Former UN adviser backs Mahama’s call for judicial reforms

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A Former UN adviser, Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah has backed former President John Mahama’s calls for immediate reforms in the judiciary.

He said the reforms should also be extended to the executive and the legislature.

Mr Mahama asked the Chief Justice to immediately undertake reforms within the judiciary.

Speaking at a meeting with the United States Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the Bentley University on Sunday March 27, Mr Mahama said the NDC has problem with the judiciary.

“We do have problems with the judiciary, I must say. I think that it is necessary for some internal reforms to take place there. It is necessary for the Chief Justice or whoever is responsible to make some reforms.

“Most of the governance institutions have been politicized. I give the example of the judiciary. It is only in Ghana that a Supreme Court will make a decision that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship.

“There are many such funny judgements that have been given. I remember at one time, our colleague Professor Raymond Atuguba said that from a research he had done, judges turn to give their judgements in favour of the political party or leader that appointed them.

“He was subjected to such a whirlwind of indignation by the judiciary but if you bring it down to what is happening today, and you look at it and see who appointed who, you will find that there was some truth in the research.

“The thing is, our constitution gives security of tenure to judges. Once you have been appointed you cannot be removed. That is why we give security of tenure so that you will have the courage no matter who appointed you to give judgement according to your conscience. That is what our judges should do. They must rise up to the occasion.”

Adding his voice to this call, Prof Agyemang-Duah told TV3’s Eric Mawuena Egberta on Monday March 28 that “The former President’s comment is spot on, in the sense that it relates to this general demand for constitutional review. You cannot touch the judiciary without touching the constitution. So if you are not satisfied with the judiciary then it means that you have to find a way to revise the constitution.

“It is not only the judiciary, the whole structure of governance, executive, the legislature, look at what is going on. All these are issues that we need to address. That is why when people dismiss the idea of constitutional reforms it hurts me because we all know certain things are not going right about the country.

“I think what Former President Mahama is calling for is a serious reforms of the constitution so we can look at the judiciary, the executive and the legislature.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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