Digitization of courts is only highway of achieving efficient justice delivery – Chief Justice
Mobilizing for assets such as continued computerization and automation of the courts, digitization of court documents and processes is the only highway to achieving efficiency in justice delivery, Chief Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo has said.
“My Commitment is to strongly engage with all stakeholders to achieve this objective.
Without a strong consciousness of the constitutionally and internationally mandated ethics that the judiciary and the Judicial service are required to deploy in our- independence, integrity, propriety , competence, diligence, avoidance of conflict, avoidance of politics, equality and impartiality- our work will definitely lack the required quality, no matter how many decisions we churn out.”
Chief Justice Torkornoo said in her message to mark the opening of the 66th legal Year under the theme; “Building the Pillars of Justice.”
Touching on the theme, Chief Justice Torkornoo said the pillars of justice that the judiciary would be focusing on are Law, Ethics, Assets and Due Process (LEAD).
“The theme has been chosen to draw all stakeholders into engagement with these four elements in justice delivery, in order to enhance the quality of work done in our courts.”
She said Justice was founded on law, adding “without law, there can be no inference of justice.”
According to the Chief Justice, the Judicial Service and external service providers that support the work of the judiciary are engaged based on their expertise, specialization and disciplines that often did not include training in law.
“Imperceptibly, this situation creates gap in the appreciation of many court officials concerning the fundamental effects of rules and procedures, precision in the use of legal terminologies, functioning in due process and functioning with constitutionally required ethical values such as independence,” she said.
These gaps affect the efficacy of justice delivery and weaken the efficiency and effectiveness of the work of the court, because as we know, any chain is only strong as its weakest link.
She said as the judiciary focused on building the pillars of Law, Ethics, Assets and Due Process, increased attention would be given to consistent training and capacity building for all staff and strategic regulatory interventions with external support service providers.
“For the citizenry, there will be a focus on demystifying the work of the courts, to increase integrity and accountability of the court system to those that we are required to serve.
Justice Torkornoo said 17 Courts were designed as Virtual Courts in the Greater Accra Region during the legal Vacation of the year 2022 and same were extended during the pandemic.
According to her the deployment of teleconferencing facilities saved time and cost for court users.
“We had hoped that the hearing of cases virtually for the courts fitted with facilities, would continue after the vacation. Lack of financial support affected the achievement of this objective,” Chief Justice noted.
She, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders to help her deepen the nexus between Law, Ethics, Assets and Due Process and the quality of justice delivery.