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The Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has questioned the credibility of a research conducted by Prof. Raymond Atuguba which suggests that Supreme Court rulings on political cases over the past 25 years have had partisan political leanings.
The governance research expert and lawyer raises concerns about the validity of the data Prof Atuguba used in his research, saying his failure to validate his data makes the research findings unjustifiable.
Speaking of 3FM’s Sunrise on Tuesday in reaction to the credibility of the research, Dr Osae said: “In research, if you put out your findings there and you are pushed to the wall, you should be able to convince everyone beyond reasonable doubt that the data was validated”.
“In this case I think some of the data that he used were not adequately validated that is why some of the Supreme Court judges will make certain comments about the findings,” he contended.
Dr. Osae further contends that Prof. Atuguba ought to have involved the “key actors in the justice delivery system” in his research, without which his research suffers what he calls a “research error”.
“The fact that he did not even establish from them the rationale for most of their ruling, he did not also establish from the political parties who were involved in that case on its own is a research error. You don’t collect data without validating it or without involving the affected parties. It is always very important because whether content analysis or desk review you have to run it by the affected parties”.
Dr. Oduro further argues that the level of error in the research makes it susceptible to doubts.
“I think the margin of error is very high because in my understanding he did not do a lot of data validation by involving the key actors in the justice delivery system including the judges of the supreme court and the political parties in those cases and the fact that he was not able to do that I think the conclusions may not be as we expected and I would, for instance, rely on it with a pinch of salt”.
Meanwhile, a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, has urged Prof. Atuguba to make public the full research to help in constructive critique.
Professor Raymond Atuguba, a former Executive Secretary to former president John Mahama and an Associate Law professor at the University of Ghana, on Friday made a research presentation at the GIMPA Law Conference.
His research findings on the Supreme Court of Ghana suggested that rulings on some 100 political cases for the past 25 years have gone in favour of the political parties that appointed the judges who sat on the cases.
This research was criticized by many including the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, who described the research as “alien” to Ghana and cautioning Professor Atuguba to “be careful what you’re importing into our environment”.
“They are used to that, we are not”.
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