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CJ swears in 23 new Magistrates, urges them to have independent minds

Accra: Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo has asked Magistrates and judges not to be swayed by people who are louder and overbearing.

‘As magistrates, I would like to urge you to have independent minds and not to be swayed by people who are louder and overbearing and people who seem to attract your attention.

Let me remind you that the work of a judge requires someone with a strong intellect and independent thinking. The judge must understand the law and have the skills to harmonize them.

Law is extremely sophisticated, and it requires a person who has the skill and strong intellect and the ability to harmonize the various areas of law.’

The Chief Justice said when she swore in twenty-three new magistrates at the Auditorium of the Law Court Complex in Accra on Monday.

The new Magistrates comprising 11 males and 12 females, are expected to boost justice delivery in the country.

According to the Chief Justice, the position of magistrate constituted a moral calling, adding the job is for people who ha
ve committed themselves to be truthful, fair, and not be tainted by anything and be guided by the law and do right before the people.

Justice Torkornoo congratulated the new magistrates to the bench noting that ‘the path to this day has clearly not been an easy one. The great determination you have shown is an indicator of the qualities you will bring to your duties as magistrates.’

She said society could not survive without a rigorous and fair application of the standard and predictable system of rules and laws.

‘This fact reminds of the necessity and nobility of the calling of the judge. The peace and stability that the nation enjoys and takes pride in is sustained largely in part because of the confidence that the citizens have in the durability of the legal and judicial systems.’

She said a robust judiciary needed in equal measure of quality judges and magistrates and laws in order to discharge duties and their constitutional mandate.

According to her, the job of the judge is to lead the various acto
rs in the courtroom in a united pursuit of justice and truth guided by the principles of equity and fairness and administered in accordance with the law.

She therefore urged the magistrates to stay faithful to ethical values and oaths as well as the promises made to the nation, citizens, and to God.

‘As a judge you are reminded of your ethical values through which you are to conduct your work.

You are to work in priority, independence and in competence.’

Chief Justice Torkornoo said working in priority meant that ‘the judiciary would not receive report that Magistrates dress differently and conducting your ways that are not proper.’

Justice Torkornoo observed that the judiciary was getting extremely feminized, adding she was the third Chief Justice and Ghana was moving in the direction of getting more female judges.

She urged the magistrates especially the females, not to grumble over transfers and be prepared to serve anywhere in the country.

The Chief Justice appealed to the Magistrate to ignore and
erase personal feelings and biases, adding, ‘it is not a judge’s job to please but, if done right, judicial decisions must bring satisfaction. This requires extreme, dedication, integrity, and unyielding adherence to principle.’

She appealed to the Magistrates to constantly commit themselves to training and retraining to boost the work of the judiciary.

‘Be abreast with evolving trends of legal practice and operations through technology. Through these and other efforts you can contribute your quota to a relevant Judicial Service that answers the call that makes us to preserve its peace, strengthen its security, and enhance its prosperity’ she added.

Mr Alfred Tuah Yeboah, Deputy Attorney General, said the appointment of the magistrates spoke volumes about their personal characters and exemplarily careers to the service of the laws and personal sacrifices they have made.

The Deputy Attorney General urged the magistrates to discharge their duties with diligence and integrity.

‘You are to discharge your dut
ies without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. But bear in mind that your power is highly circumscribed. You are the lower base of the judiciary.

Don’t be those judges who question the basis of the Attorney General, entering nolle prosequi. Respect your power and don’t veer into the powers of others.’

The President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Yaw Acheampong Boafo, in a speech read on his behalf, said there were great expectations from the bench, bar and public.

According to Mr Boafo, the expectations of the nation were spelt out in the judicial oath. ‘Leading a life in line with the oath, you earn respect and honour,’ he added.

Comfort Asamoah Sarpong, a magistrate, on behalf of her colleagues, pledged to do their best in the discharge of their duties with integrity and hard work.

The Magistrates are, Anastacia Yaa Agyeiwaa Karimu, Bright Ajosagi Akoande, Dromo Afarley Djarbeng, Jeroma Tawiah Owusu, Claudia Naa Anorkai Akuoko Abbey, Melissa Selorm Dadson, Georgette Carmel Lutherodt, Josephine Va
leen Akorfa Akpanya-Hlover, Christian Mawusi Ntow, Christabel Awo Tei Sasraku.

The rest are Stephen Tabiri, Gloria Afua Kesewa Asamani, Bitam Lari, Juliana Millicent Ocran, Eric Kwarteng, Emmanuel Wiafe Adu, Jehoshaphat Achina Nyarko, Eugene Obeng-Ntim, Iddi Adama, Olivia Acquah -Dadzie, George Wellington Arhin and Godson Etse Kumado.

The ceremony was witnessed by Judges of the superior courts, friends, and relations of the Magistrates.

Source: Ghana News Agency