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A total of 279 newly qualified Lawyers have been called to the Bar at a special meeting of the General Legal Council in Accra.
Addressing the new Lawyers, Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, advised them to take the Professional Code of Ethics seriously to avoid any breaches that will occasion sanctions being brought against them.
“I need to caution you, as new Lawyers, to take the Professional Code of Ethics extremely seriously, and value it immensely as you would value God, and must at all costs avoid brushes with the law in order to ensure that no disciplinary proceedings or criminal proceedings are instituted against you. I must emphasize that the General Legal Council will not spare any Lawyer who commits professional misconduct. We have tightened and will continue to tighten the applicable rules”, she said.
The number of Judges on the Supreme Court Bench has increased from 11 to 15, following the swearing-in of four eminent personalities to the apex Court of the land by the President of the Republic.
The newly sworn-in Justices are His Lordship Justice Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Her Ladyship Justice Agnes M. A. Dordzie, His Lordship Justice Nene A. O. Amegatcher and His Lorship Justice Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey.
They took the Oath of Allegiance, Judicial Oath and Oath of Secrecy.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, described the Judges as having the independence of spirit, proven integrity, high moral character, and impartiality of mind to hold the high office, making their appointment well deserved and merited. “This blend of persons on the Supreme Court Bench in my view would strengthen the development of our nation’s constitutional and other jurisprudence”.
Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo has advised Judges and Magistrates to desist from delivering sloppy judgments, describing it as unacceptable. According to her, the survival of the State depends on the confidence citizens have in state institutions.
“If citizens know that crime will be punished, they see no need to take the law into their own hands when a thief is caught, for instance. When they believe that disputes will be fairly heard and decided on their merits, we will see none of the unfortunate alternative measures that have been known to present themselves when people feel cheated and which are a blight and disgrace to the caliber of our services”, she said.
Justice Sophia Akuffo was delivering the keynote address at the 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJG) in Accra which focused on “Independence of the Judiciary: The way Forward”.
Ms. Cynthia Pamela Akotoaa Addo has assumed office as the new Judicial Secretary. Ms. Addo takes over from His Lordship Justice Alex Berchie Poku-Acheampong, who will assume duty on the Court of Appeal Bench on October 8, 2018.
Ms. Cynthia Pamela Akotoaa Addo is a lawyer with 29 years of diverse post qualification experience. She is a highly skilled professional known for creativity, exceptional organizational ability, resourcefulness, innovation, proven financial management skills and timely completion of major projects and assignments
A new Court Complex sponsored by the chiefs and people of Akyem in the Eastern Region has been dedicated and handed over to the Judicial Service. The new Court Complex, situated at Kyebi, the traditional capital of Akyem Abuakwa, is comprised of a High Court, Circuit Court and District Court. Each Court has a Registrar’s office, general office and chamber for the Judges and Magistrate.
The dedication of the facility was part of activities marking the 75th anniversary of Amantiremanmienu, Nana Ofori Atta, the first Okyenhene of Akyem Abuakwa.
The provision of the new Court Complex by the current occupant of the Okyeman stool, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin and his people was to show their commitment to the call of the Judiciary for an improved court infrastructure to enhance quality Justice delivery.
A Supreme Court Judge Nominee, Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, has called for a creative reduction of the Supreme Court’s extensive jurisdiction, to curtail delays as he believes the apex Court is quite overworked.
”The Supreme Court is struggling to discharge its obligations because of its very extensive jurisdiction, so we must look at ways of creatively reducing its jurisdiction otherwise we need more Judges. I am not in favour of keeping the jurisdiction and increasing numbers. I am rather in favour of seeking ways of reducing the extensive jurisdiction of the Court. Only then can we look at the numbers,” he said.
A Supreme Court Judge nominee, Justice Agnes Mercy Abla Dordzie has called on government to ensure adequate funding for the new e-justice system being piloted at the Law Court Complex in Accra and roll it out across the country to improve access, timely and quality justice delivery.
Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee, following her nomination to the Supreme Court, Justice Dordzie said the Paperless Courts would help address the delays in Court processes, loss of documentation (dockets), duplication of suit numbers and other related problems that confront the Courts.
She also expressed concern about the quality of investigations conducted by the police before prosecution, adding that the kind of police investigators she worked with in her days in Koforidua are admirable and worth emulating by present investigators.
As a boost to the cause of quality justice delivery, a change of policy has seen nine (9) Career Magistrates elevated and sworn-in as Professional Magistrates, after obtaining the professional law degree.
The newly sworn-in Professional Magistrates are Her Worship Aliata Saeed, His Worship Osman Abdul-Hakeem, Her Worship Juliet Osei Duedu, His Worship Divine Kwaku Ahiadu and His Worship Eric Daning. The rest are Her Worship Linda Amissah, Her Worship Priscilla Yeboah, His Worship Kweku Baah Frempong and His Worship Kofi Owusu Sekyere.
They took the Oath of Allegiance, Judicial Oath and Oath of Secrecy, which were administered by the Chief Justice.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo advised them to strictly adhere to the Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates and not to please anyone. “It is not our job to please, but if done right, our decisions must bring satisfaction. This requires extreme dedication, integrity and unyielding adherence to the Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates”, she said.