Opinions Sun, 4 Oct 2015

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The broken gourd

The Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, continues to talk about the effects of the recently exposed integrity blemish which hit the judiciary.

As head of the judiciary, her pain is understandable, the unprecedented scandal having taken place under her tenure. It is regrettable that in spite of her previous efforts at stemming the tide of corruption in the judiciary, the aberration continued until it hit the rooftop sending us all running for cover as it were.

It appears that she would continue to use the subject as the cornerstone of her public speeches for as long as she remains the Chief Justice, the judiciary’s worst integrity challenge stubbornly haunting her.

The effect of the high-notched corruption on the judiciary which Ghanaians continue to lap in their daily social discourses will linger for longer than we think, even if deliberately arranged measures are unfolded to win back the confidence Ghanaians have lost in the judiciary.

In her latest presentation yesterday during a call-to- the-bar function at the Banquet Hall, State House, she lamented to her audience about the dissipated public confidence in the judiciary, a worrying development whose reversal would be an uphill task.

Although the task of retrieving the lost confidence behoves all Ghanaians, it does more on the judiciary which should convince Ghanaians and the outside world that a new slate has been put in place.

If there is any institution that can manage a lost confidence and continue to function, it is not the judiciary.

The judiciary’s special place in society and democracy places it on a special pedestal. The reason why litigants agree to turn to the courts is because of the confidence they have in the system to sort out their differences.

When this critical ingredient—confidence—is lost however, seeking the judiciary’s intervention in matters of dispute becomes a foolish consideration.

A scientific gauging of foreign investors’ confidence in doing business in Ghana will reveal worrying outcomes. Investors would be foolhardy to want to plant their investments in countries where the judiciary is anything but reliable and above board.

The approaching months, even years, would be critical in our efforts towards winning back the lost confidence among Ghanaians and foreigners.

Our first move towards retrieving the lost confidence would be a fair treatment of the corruption scandal. Any attempt at rendering a special treatment to the case would be worsening the case for the lost confidence.

We have heard complaints about why the suspects have not so far been made to go through the routine procedures for those who breach the law as they have.

There should be lavish dissemination of information about every step taken by the law in this epic scandal, lest the efforts to win back the lost confidence remain elusive.

Columnist: Daily Guide

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