Chief Justice Georgina Wood on Thursday asked Ghanaians to allow judges and magistrates to make their decisions without fear or favour in order to uphold the honour and integrity of their profession.
“Each time a judge is bribed, an injustice is born, each time a judge renders a decision tainted by corruption or other form of impropriety, the judiciary as the most scared secular institution of the land is undermined, each time a citizen suffers an injustice, the nation’s motto of Freedom and Justice is anguished and injured,” she added.
Mrs Justice Wood was addressing the Ninth Chief Justice Forum on the theme: “Accessing Justice: The Citizen’s Participation in the Administration of Justice”. The forum offers the judiciary the opportunity to deliberate on issues on infrastructure, attitude and related challenges affecting performance of the third estate.
She said citizens must refrain from the common practice of using extra
legal methods to influence judges to render decisions in their favour. Chief Justice Wood said some litigants undoubtedly attempt to bribe judges and other judicial personnel to rule in their favour. She said the menace of corruption and the perception of its widespread
prevalence, coupled with the rent seeking behaviours had threatened the values of transparency, equal justice and the perception of judicial equity.
Mrs Justice Wood noted that the secrecy that shrouds such ungodly,
criminal and unethical conduct made it more difficult to detect, control, punish and prevent its occurrence. She noted that the Ghanaian judiciary remained determined to build on
its strengths and success to broaden the scale of public confidence in the institution through enhanced service delivery and corruption free administration of justice.