Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo with Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the ‘LEADing Justice Initiatives’ by the Chief Justice, with an assurance that government will continue to invest in court infrastructure, residential accommodation for judges and magistrates, and the general re-tooling of the human resources of the institution to improve justice delivery.

LEADing Justice is an acronym for Law, Ethics, Asset Management, Due Process and Digitalisation which forms the vision of Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, as she endeavours to drastically transform justice delivery in Ghana.

It also forms part of a strategic framework to guide decision-making, inform operational planning and delivery, and help measure progress in the achievement of the desired change for efficient and effective justice delivery.

Speaking at the launch of the initiatives at the International Conference Centre in Accra yesterday, the Vice President was hopeful that the initiatives will “herald a new dawn in the history of our judicial system, propelled by efficiency, excellence, knowledge, and integrity.”

Dr. Bawumia said there can be no escaping the fact that the duty of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service is to bring justice closer to the people of Ghana, by employing the tools and strategies that will make it much more comfortable for them to access and utilise instruments of justice.

“The Judiciary is enjoined to do this to ensure that the systems and structures of justice bring meaningful impact to the people for whom they have been designed,” he stated.

It was for this reason that he said he was excited the Chief Justice is leading the third arm of state to make the promise of our nation evident in the lives of people and extend to all, the protection that is theirs by birth.

“I note with great admiration and excitement the new impetus, focus, energy, and dynamism that Her Ladyship has brought to the administration of justice since she took over the reins of office less than a year ago,” the Vice President noted.

“It is this new zeal and sense of urgency that has culminated in the vision that we are launching today which would be the blueprint for her administration, and point the way for the Judiciary and the Judicial Service towards the goal that meets the justice demands of the 21st Century and beyond,” he added.

Dr. Bawumia was particularly enthused about the digitalisation component of the vision, “because we can make major strides in just short periods of time through the digitalisation process.”

He added that, “Having personally launched the Electronic Case Tracking System for the criminal justice sector in 2018, and witnessing the positive changes that the e-justice system which was launched a year later is bringing to the administration of justice, I am particularly delighted that digitalisation is a key component of this strategic vision.”

The Chief Justice indicated that her leadership directions focus on tackling the seemingly systemic difficulties that appear determined to dim the efforts of previous Chief Justices to activate the efficient and effective delivery of justice with various reform initiatives.

Touching on the law component of the LEADing Justice initiatives, she said out of the over 7,000 staff of the Judicial Service who are experts in their own fields, only an insignificant number of them are lawyers, hence, paralegal training would be made available to them and the countless professionals who work with the Judiciary to deliver justice.

On ethics, the Chief Justice hopes to change the tags of corruption, ineptitude and inefficiency “around the neck of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana.”

She also disclosed the release of 12 practice directions and administrative guideline manuals to increase transparency and due process in court work.

Assets, due process and digitalisation focus on goals set for capacity building for a well-trained work force, high use of technology, the consistent, assured and well-negotiated support of partners, good housing for all judges and all senior to medium level staff.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, in a goodwill message underscored the importance of making justice accessible to all, rather than just a few, adding that, “There is a need to address complaints about inefficiency, judges’ attitudes, and delays in case completion.”

President of the Ghana Bar Association, Yaw Acheampong Boafo, on his part suggested that the Judiciary be made to retain all of its internally generated funds for the year to enable it implement its projects.

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