Nana Ato Dadzie raises concerns on Judicial Service Letter to Media Houses

    9

    Hmmm.

    Yet to see the original correspondence issued by my great friend and Senior Counsel Mr .Sory Esq on behalf of the “Judicial Service ” to some media houses in Ghana.

    Unable to reach my learned friend for some clarification of some preliminary legal issues agitating my mind .

    1) Who is counsel representing in this correspondence ?

    2) What is the status of Judicial Service of Ghana .

    A state body or a corporation or corporate body with corporate legal personality .

    3) Judicial Service is made up of 3 distinct segments Superior Judicial officers administering justice ;
    ” inferior/lower ” judicial officers and finally Administrators (Jusaq).

    4 ) Is counsel representing the Superior judges , Lower court judges ( Association of Circuit court judges and Magistrates) or the Administrators (Jusaq) or all three .

    5) The Head of the Judicial Service is His Lordship the Chief Justice .

    6) The Supreme Court does not exercise supervisory jurisdiction over the Judicial Service
    see –
    Rep vrs .Judicial Service of Ghana
    Attorney General ex parte Catherine de Souza .

    7) The Judicial Council inter alia , exercises specific functions in respect of conduct etc involving Judges and through the Chief Justice advices the President accordingly.

    8 ) The President / Head of State has some constitutional obligations to exercise on receipt of such preliminary report from the Chief Justice.

    8a ) Subsequent investigations and enquiries may lead to final decision on the conduct of the stated judge .

    9) Counsel in “representing ‘ Judicial Service here , may very well be representing no legal personality .

    9a) In such circumstances counsels brief may be empty and hollow .

    10) If 9 above is correct, then Counsel Sory’s correspondence and admonition may be said to be ‘ brutum fulmem ‘ .

    11) Paragraphs 1-10 have agitated my mind over the last 2 days .

    12) As Senior counsel , an interested member of Ghana Bar Association and one who participated in the historic and novel 2013 Presidential ElectionSupreme Court Petition as Lead Spokesperson for the then Petitioner .

    I have raised some concerns over what appears as political jostling particularly after court sessions these days .

    Sad spectacle of very junior counsel berating Senior Counsel 45 years standing at the bar eg Senior Counsel Mr.Akoto Ampaw & Senior Counsel Mr Tsatu Tsikata .

    1) I am for a progressive movement towards the USA post trial comment by counsel for the parties.

    That’s the irreversible way forward as I see .

    Why is the TV in court in this trial .

    Public interest as well as our committment to fundamental right to Freedom of Speech in our emerging democracy coupled with the New media drives us no where else but there .

    Ms Gloria Akufo and I, with our supporting teams , were able to handle the novel challenge in 9 months , daily court exposure 8 years ago .

    The heat and political excitement enveloping these election petitions lead to some unacceptable and overboard comments, debates and in some cases threats of bodily harm to adjudicating personnel , witnesses etc .

    I dont endorse them and efforts must be made to draw the investigative outfits attention to scan some of these cases and invoke the necessary sanctions , if proven .

    One thing is certain in our democratic trajectory .

    2021 Election Petition will not be the last of our election challenge experience.

    There is need to actively sustain a programme of public engagement and education within the political terrain , schools , general public .

    Primary obligation should be on Ghana Bar Association.

    We as lawyers stand to lose everything when the legal system is undermined .

    NCCE, and political parties other CSos must also be hauled in to initiate sustained public education in this area and not wait for the quadrennial political election cycle .

    Question.

    Who speaks/ represents judges ???

    See Rep vrs
    1) Judicial Service of Ghana
    2) Attorney General

    Ex parte Catherine de Souza .

    Civil Motion 15/2/ 2017

    Counsel representation of the Judicial Service in this present matter, advising and warning of legal sanctions appears otoise , inappropriate and doubtful .

    Same has kicked a lot of dust on a message which otherwise should be crisp and clear advice to the general public , possibly from the Judicial Secretary or His Lordship the Chief Justice or Attorney General to join the bench keep our legal system sacrosanct.

    Also doubtful is whether Counsel’s actions are in consonance with Article 88(3) of the 1992 Constitution .

    “The Attorney General shall be responsible for the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offenses ” .

    What are the limits of contempt of court in modern times .??
    Nb.
    Shouldn’t Threats of bodily harm etc against a sitting judge remain where they are –criminal offence not contempt of court ?

    We still growing and nurturing our Constitutional democracy

    My 2 pesewas .

    Need to be educated more and more .

    Still learning.
    Nana Ato Dadzie CV