The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, has asked judges and magistrates to be exceptional in the discharge of their professional duties.
“You are required to leave an indelible mark in the judicial sands of time and you can only achieve this through exceptional effort and great sacrifice.”
The Chief Justice said this when he sworn in 20 Circuit Court Judges and 19 Magistrates at two separate functions at the Law Court Complex in Accra.
Chief Justice Yeboah told the judges that they would meet challenges as a result of their elevation or appointment but they must strive to achieve excellence in their job delivery.
He said though the Constitution guaranteed absolute judicial independence to all members of the judiciary, it did not give them the power to do what they pleased through misuse of power and abuse of the sacred trust reposed in them.
The Chief Justice who administered the judicial oath, oaths of allegiance and secrecy to the judges and magistrates, indicated that they also constituted one of the major players in the maintenance of law and order in the country.
“Your decisions thus have far-reaching consequences for the peace and stability of this nation. I would thus appeal to you not to take your responsibilities for granted.”
He said as justice bearers you are also required to apply the law impartially and also to give a fair and unprejudiced hearing to all persons who appeared before you.
The Chief Justice implored them to strive at all times in their decision making to be “free from influences extraneous to the case before you.”
Justice Yeboah tasked the magistrate and judges to courageously defend the Constitution and laws of the country adding that, “the dignity and stability of our country depend largely upon an upright, robust and independent judiciary.”
He said as judges they had obligations to live by the rules and etiquette of their vocation by “keeping to the high professional and ethical standards set out in their Code of Conduct.”
Justice Yeboah who is also the Chairman of the General Legal Council (GLC) said one of the painful and difficult decisions would be to be compelled to make the ultimate sanction of impeachment or dismissal of a member of the judiciary and said, “I hope you will spare us this agony and yourselves, your family and friends this tragedy by living above reproach.”
He reminded the judges and magistrates that their performance would be measured through qualitative and timely judgments, adding that the Judicial Training Institute would also continue to sharpen their judicial skills and update their knowledge on various aspects of the law.