The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, has urged the public not to pay bribes to court officials who request money ostensibly on behalf of judges for favourable decisions.
According to the Chief Justice, these alleged payments are often not solicited by judges nor received by them, but rather exploited by unscrupulous court staff to line their own pockets. In light of this, she urged citizens to report any court staff who attempts to extort money under the pretense of forwarding it to a judge for his/her service to the Judicial Service
Speaking at two distinct Chief Justice Community Sensitisation programs, one in Akwatia within the Demkyembour District and the other in Kraboa Coaltar in the Ayensuono District, both located in the Eastern Region, she emphasized the significance of the public’s cooperation in reporting instances of bribery involving
“Any court registrar, interpreter, clerk, recorder or any staff who asks for money to be given to a judge is a thief. Report such staff to the police and the Judicial Service. We will investigate, and I will sack them if they are culpable and also ensure that they are decisively dealt with. This is a bad culture destroying the image of the Judiciary, and we are determined to stamp it out,” she said.
The Community Sensitisation program seeks to foster a closer connection between the judiciary and the public, promoting better comprehension of the legal system and its fundamental principles.
We must come together and stop all the bottlenecks that frustrate people with the judicial system.
When the Judiciary succeeds, we will all have peace and prosperity,” the Chief Justice added.
As part of the sensitisation programme, participants are allowed to ask the Chief Justice questions relating to the work of the Judiciary, with the Chief Justice answering and explaining the initiatives being implemented by the Judicial Service to improve access to justice and openness and fairness in justice delivery.
On the theme: “Improving Justice Delivery through Community Engagement”, the overall objective of the sensitisation programme is to educate the public and strengthen trust and confidence in the Judiciary.
The Chief Justice normally engages in the sensitisation programmes when she visits towns and villages to perform official functions such as the inauguration of new court buildings and infrastructure for the Judiciary.
So far, the programme has been organised in six communities, three in the Greater Accra Region, namely Baastonaa, Ada and Kwabenya, with the rest in the Eastern Region — New Abirem, Akwatia and Kraboa Coaltar.