General News of Tue, 11 Sep 201811

Judges who give 'truly atrocious judgments' must be sanctioned - GBA President

President of the Ghana Bar Association has called on the Judicial Council to sanction High court judges who deliver "truly atrocious judgments".

In a call that earned him rapturous applause at the Bar's Annual General Conference in the Eastern region, Benson Nutsukpui the need for punishment is "urgent".

This was part of a speech delivered in the Eastern regional capital Koforidua where the lawyer outlined steps he believes will strengthen the High Court bench.

Nutsukpui observed that a sign of a weak High Court bench is seen in the assignment of Appeal Court judges to handle High Court cases deemed high profile.

He also faulted the system of appointment and promotion to the bench which includes a requirement to pass a written examination.

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The GBA President praised the Judicial Council for addressing the system of appointments by re-introducing an "old, tried and tested" method.

That method allows for lawyers to be appointed to the bench based on the recommendation of their peers, the Bar Association, the Attorney-General or at the invitation of the Chief Justice.

Benson Nutsukpui said the return to the old system is "certainly" going to attract "very competent and experienced lawyers" to the High Court bench.

He said the GBA will seek to nominate lawyers of proven integrity, experience and personal attributes suitable for a High Court judge.

While the GBA plays this role, the president prayed the Judicial Council to take "very bold steps" to strengthen the High court bench.

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The 2018 Annual General Conference is on the theme, "the impact of technology on the practice of law; positioning the legal profession and the judiciary to move with the changing time"

The Chief Justice, Sophia Abena Abroma Akuffo, during her approval process pledged to use her tenure to improve the adoption of technology in justice delivery.

“I believe that a lot needed to be done to reduce the time for completing cases especially with advancement in technology.

“Ghana and for that matter, Africa mostly refer to the Western world for the administration of justice, however, over the past decades, the continent and Ghana had made great strides in using technology in the adjudication of cases,“ she explained to MPs on the Appointments Committee of Parliament in June 2017.

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