Accra, Parliamentarians from both sides of the House has praised the retiring Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood for her immerse contribution to the country’s justice delivery system.
According to them, Mrs Wood’s enviable success in Ghana’s judicial reform over the past 10 years cannot be over emphasized.
Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Majority Leader in a statement on the floor of Parliament noted that Mrs Wood as first female Chief Justice ensured that judicial independence was underpinned with the core values of integrity, transparency and impartiality.
He said in a bid to decongest the courts and to encourage settlement of cases out of court, she vigorously championed and promoted Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
This improved access to justice and made ADR one of the pillars of qualitative justice in the country.
He said the retiring CJ also steered the review of Procedural Codes and Court Rules, which led to transparency and efficiency on the part of judges whose role have been varied with the establishment of specialised courts such as the Financial Crime, Commercial, Human Rights and Electoral courts among other.
Mr Mensah Bonsu also stated that her dynamism as the Head of the Third Arm of government is demonstrated in her responsiveness to issues of concern to society.
Her contribution towards the fight against illegal mining, in which 14 courts have been mandated to deal with the issue as well as some special courts assigned to deal with Social Security and National Insurance Trust and National Lottery Authority issues.
He said as a human right champion, she played a key role in the Justice for All Programme, which brought about a situation where individuals on remand, whose cases have not been heard, were investigated and appropriately remedies applied.
He said Mrs Wood cannot be forgotten for her aggressive policy of expanding court infrastructure, which led to the refurbishment of court houses and the construction of new court structures throughout the country.
Mr Mensah Bonsu said Mrs Wood’s dint of hard work was recognised both nationally and internationally.
Her contribution to national development earned her Ghana’s highest national award: the Order of the Star of Ghana for meritorious public service in 2007 and in August, 2008 was awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (Honoris Causa) from the University of Ghana.
He said on the international level, Mrs Wood served on the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Panel of Kenya having been appointed in August, 2011 by the then Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga with full approval of the Kenyan Parliament.
Mr Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central in his contribution praised Mrs Wood for helping to in the development of the rule of law, expansion of the infrastructure, the modernisation of the courtrooms and the processes in the system.
He said her contribution helped in consolidating democracy and strengthen the rule of law in the country.
Mr Alexander Afenyo Markin, MP for Effutu in his contribution stated the retiring CJ was an inspiration not only to lawyers but women across the country.
He said today there were many justices of the Court of Appeal who were women due to her inspiration and encouragement.
He also expressed delight at the President’s appointment of Mrs Wood to the Council of State and in order for her contribute to the development of the country.
Sarah Adwoa Safo, Deputy Majority Leader also stated the House was celebrating one great woman who was an epitome of Ghanaian Womanhood.
She said the retiring CJ had also been an inspiration to many women not only in the legal fraternity by women in other spheres of other profession.
Source: Ghana News Agency