Media’s role critical in justice delivery chain – Attorne-General

Godfred Dame – Attorney-General

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General, says the role of the media is critical in justice delivery, especially drawing attention of the public to important issues of human rights.

He said many times, it was the media that brought to the attention of the public the human rights violations against the poor in society and that these were matters that he took interest in as an AG of the country.

Mr Dame was speaking during a visit by the members of the Judicial Press Corps (JPS) to his Office in Accra on Wednesday.

The group was led by Mr Wilberforce Asare, the Acting Dean of the JPS, to officially introduce members to the AG and to seek his support in the discharge of their duties.

He acknowledged the immense contributions of the members of the Press Corp even before it were inaugurated, to justice delivery.

The AG said formalising the relationship with the judiciary constituted a very important milestone in the role the media played in the justice delivery chain.

“It is a recognition of the fact that the press is indispensable when it comes to matters of rule of law, good governance and the delivery of justice in the country,” he said.

Mr Dame said the very important role the press played came to the fore specially in wake of the Election Petition of 2013.

He said it showed that the work of the press should not be taken for granted at all, because it went very far and it had the tendency to take the journalist far, when taken seriously.

Mr Dame said as AG, he believed in Justices for all and the vulnerable and lonely in society and believed in protecting the interest of Government as efficiently as possible.

He said while the press had been recognised formally by the Judicial Service, they should also know that there were rules in the game, which essentially related to the ethics of the profession, urging them to be accurate, fair and objective in their reportage.

“Once you have all these in the report, it is a hallmark of a good reportage,” he added.

He expressed the hope for a good working relationship with the Group and entreated the journalists to ensure that the rights of the accused persons to a fair trial were protected through their reportage.

He called on the media to be mindful of minors and women when covering court proceedings, in which they were complainants especially in rape and defilement cases.

Mr Dame cautioned that ignoring the ethics of the profession, had grave consequences and a penalty to be paid. There were rules of contempt of Court to deal with excesses in profession and media practices.

The AG pledged his willingness to aid the Group in accessing information.

Mr Asare said as part of efforts to identify the Group with stakeholders in the justice delivery chain, “we decided to call on you to introduce members and inform the AG that there is a substantive JPC.”

He said the Group was committed to pushing the Ghana agenda through the work of the JPC.

“We look forward to working with the AG and the Department,” he added.

Source: GNA

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