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Expert Wants Change In Mode Of Selecting Judges   
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The immediate-past dean of the Law Faculty at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Kofi Abotsi, has proposed that the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal should be solely vested in the Judicial Council to ensure true independence of the Judiciary.

According to Mr. Abotsi, the current system whereby appointment of judges to the Supreme Court is done by the President in consultation with the Council of State with parliamentary approval opens up the Judiciary to a possible influence and manipulations by the Executive.

Speaking at the ongoing New Year School yesterday at the University of Ghana on the topic “The Judiciary and Democratic Consolidation,” Mr Abotsi, who is also a renowned private legal practitioner, said to maximise judicial independence, there should be an independent body to appoint lawyers to the bench or promote judges in the courts of higher judicature.

He said some judges try to be politically correct in order to court the favour of the appointing authority which is the Executive. According to him, many lawyers and judges have tended to complain about some appointments of judges to the Supreme Court.

“This is an open secret about the complications and politicization of appointments of judges to the superior courts of justice,” he said.

He said some judges try to be politically correct to inspire appointment by the Executive and that if an independent body is made to recommend judges for appointments then judges would not be worried about appointments and promotions and rather dispense justice as independently as possible.

The renowned lawyer admitted that some efforts are being made to improve the quality of judges. He also expressed concern about the manipulation of the budget for the Judiciary, stressing that every year the Judiciary complains about budget cuts or deprivation of budgetary allocations which obviously also affects justice in the country.

He explained that Article 127 of the Constitution says that the budget of the Judiciary should not be touched or cut and that all funds needed by the Judiciary should be released by the Executive.

“If the Executive continues to manipulate the budget of the Judiciary, then it’s possible to also manipulate the Judiciary and justice in general,” he added.
Source: Daily Guide

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