Stop intimidating judges – Justice Dotse
A Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Victor Jones Dotse, has condemned erroneous and intimidating attacks meted out to judges and their families over the years after adjudicating cases.
According to him the attacks which sometimes border on criminality has come from both the opposition and sitting government agents under both civilian and military regimes.
Justice Dotse, a Supreme Court Judge, who was speaking at the 9th Annual Chief Justice Forum in Accra on the theme: “The judiciary and Election 2016 attributed the over politicisation of the Judiciary.”
The forum, which attracted leaders of state in institutions and members from civil society organisation aimed at educating stakeholders on laws and legal provision governing elections and sensitising the gathering on the reviewed Election Adjudication Manual.
According to the Justice Dotse, CSOs and the Ghanaians must protect judges as it is rear for judges to defend to defend themselves.
He expressed happiness with the way and manner some judges are sometimes also victimised as they adjudicate matters noting it is only members of the Ghana Bar Association and orthodox churches who sometimes console them.
Mr Justice Dotse, the Chairman of Election Committee of the Judiciary urged all political parties to accept decisions of electoral disputes with a good heart as it was done by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He commended judges who had sat over cases with clear conscience saying they remain bold and courageous men and women who were needed in the country in upholding the rule of law.
The Supreme Court Judge told the gathering not to see him as someone who did not like the judiciary to be criticised.
According to him the post 2012 Election Petition had brought about key reforms in electoral laws, adding that those reforms had been embodied into CI 91 and 95 and has become part of the Supreme Court Amendment Rules.
He called for enabling environment for judges to carry out their duties and respect for court by institutions in the country.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), recounted that international interest in Ghana’s democracy was high as country goes to the polls.
According to Dr Akwetey, he believed Ghana has the capacity to undergo its seventh elections and elect its leaders successfully.
Dr Akwetey noted that if electoral laws were not enforced that could lead to anarchy in the country.
He noted that currently people had become more concerned with electoral justice as some persons were not satisfied with “the system.”
He, therefore, called for more radical approach especially issues boarding on constitutional matters and engage of political parties in dialogues to avert any civil unrest.
According to him, anxiety had also been associated with this year’s polls and called on the Supreme Court to educate the public on clean elections and zero tolerance for “dirty elections. “
“The Supreme Court considering the powers it has should also compel political parties to remain committed to peace pacts signed by them,” he added.