HANA: JUDICIARY NEEDS ‘FUMIGATION’ TO RESTORE IMAGE – ATUGUBA

A Supreme Court judge has said there should be a “judicial fumigation” against corruption by reporting persons who try to influence the Bench to the law enforcement agencies.

Justice William Atuguba, who made the call, also urged the Bench to guard against “goro” boys from within or without their profession.

Justice Atuguba, who was addressing this year’s Association of Magistrates and Judges’ Annual General Conference in Accra, said if those suggestions were adhered to it would go a long way to restore the image of the Judiciary.

The two-day conference, which is under the theme: “Restoring the image of the Judiciary,” would afford members of the Association the platform to elect its new national officers and delve into the multiplicity of Judgements on land cases and their effects on land administration.

The Justice of the Supreme Court stated that the Anas Expose of corruption in the Judiciary had brought about a “silver line” and congratulated the members who stood their grounds.

Justice Atuguba also said the prompt disposal of cases and curtailing of adjournment could also be stepped up to enhance the image of the Judiciary.

Touching of the condition of service, the Supreme Court judge noted that although the conditions had improved over the years, they were not radical enough.

He, therefore, urged the Ghana Bar Association, the Judicial Council and the entire Bench to coordinate their efforts and engage the Article 71 Committee to take a second look at the their condition of service.

“Conditions of Service must correspondingly be unique and should not be considered in common with any general policy on pay structure or the like,” he said.

“I, therefore, call for the restoration of an enhanced leave allowance, substantial entertainment allowance, a handsome allowance to compensate for the loss of private professional practice, as is enjoyed by doctors and teachers.”

Justice Atuguba commended the banks in the country for often readily granting financial bail to distressed members of the bench by way of overdrafts and loans.

He, however, stated that: “In view of the virtual withdrawal of powers of the managers in this regard, coupled with high interest rates, it befalls on the Judiciary to make provision for ready access to loans to persons on the bench and the Judicial Service in deserving cases, from funds out of our internally generated fund allocation.”

The Supreme Court Judge said the Bench would also make modest investments such as treasury bills out of the payment of accumulated entitlement to cushion themselves.

He urged his colleagues to lead the “life in seclusion” on the Bench.

“The observance of this Convention and Code of Ethics would greatly insulate us from social contagion, arising from unbridled social interaction,” he said.

“It is better for a person on the Bench to be wrongly perceived as anti-social than to be correctly perceived to be corrupt,” Justice Atuguba added.

He also admonished the Judges and Magistrates to often read their Code of Ethics and keep them in view.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.