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Judiciary will use technology for quality justice – Justice Sophia Akuffo

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Justice Sophia Akuffo

Justice Sophia Abena Abroma Akuffo, the Chief Justice Nominee on Friday gave the assurance that upon her approval, she would use technology for dispensation of justice to reduce the duration of cases and the cost to litigating parties.

She acknowledged the delays in the completion of cases and assured that she would work consciously to prevent delays.

“I believe that a lot needed to be done to reduce the time for completing cases especially with advancement in technology.

“Ghana and for that matter Africa, mostly refer to the Western world for the administration of justice, however, over the past decades, the continent and Ghana had made great strides in using technology in the adjudication of cases,“ she explained.

Justice Akuffo gave the assurance when she appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee at the Parliament House, in Accra, for vetting.

The nominee said she was passionate about quality justice delivery, stability and development of the nation and, would therefore, strive to ensure the integrity of justice dispensation.

She said she would ensure technology was applied at the courts in the remotest part of the country using solar energy adding; ‘’it will be one of the programmes I will roll-out to improve the process to ensure judiciary integrity”.

Asked how she would improve public perception of corruption of the judiciary, she said, quality justice delivery and integrity would be her hallmark as the dispensation of justice would be opened and transparent.

She said the perception of Judiciary corruption was a double edged sword and that the public must be abreast with the court processes and have correct expectations.

According to him, as much as justice delayed is justice denied the parties involved in any legal tussle must also understand that justice hurried is justice buried, therefore, there was the need for the courts to follow due process in applying the law.

The Chief Justice nominee cautioned judicial staff who involved themselves in acts of indiscipline would be dealt with in accordance with the code of conduct regulating their work.

The nominee assured that she would work to uplift the image of the judiciary by continuing with the initiatives instituted by her predecessor to enhance judiciary integrity and champion programmes to ensure those processes worked effectively.

Answering question regarding calls by some sections of the public to allow lawyers to advertise on the social media, she said it was improper and distasteful because the law frowned on it, saying; ‘”it did not fall within the permissible rules of legal practice”.

However, she said, a lawyer could make himself or herself known through a personal website.

Asked what she would do to address discontent among some magistrates and judges over delayed in their promotions, Justice Akuffo said, she would look into the matter and review the standing processes.

She gave the assurance that no one would be overlooked since promotions would be done based on one’s performance.

Commenting on some outmoded courts procedures, Justice Akuffo noted that the courts system operated on standing protocols and procedures.

However, she said it was also be receptive to reforms and, would therefore, undertake necessary reforms upon consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Justice Akuffo was born on the 20th December 1949 and hailed from Akropong Akuapim in the Eastern Region.

The 67-year-old Justice of the Supreme Court has a daughter and two grandchildren.

She was appointed to the Supreme Court by the former President Jerry John Rawlings on the 30th November 1995 and had served the court for more than 10 years.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, the Chairperson of the Parliament Appointments Committee, congratulated the Chief Justice nominee and apologised to the public for the delayed start of the vetting process, which he explained was supposed to start at 1000 hours but took off around 1049 hours.

He said the members of the Committee were sharpening rough edges to ensure smooth take-off and asked the members of the Committee to co-operate with the nominee and ask straightforward questions.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and a Ranking Member of the Committee, also congratulated the nominee and explained that the vetting was in accordance with Article 144 of the 1992 Constitution.

He said the judiciary was an important component of the country’s democratic dispensation and hoped upon her approval, she would improve judicial administration of the country.

Source: GNA

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