The Chief Justice nominee, Sophia Akuffo, has indicated her commitment to protecting the Judiciary and ensure that that all Ghanaians, irrespective of their backgrounds, have access to quality justice.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Friday, she expressed her readiness to crack the whip on any judge or staff of the judiciary who goes contrary to the rules of the profession, and pledged that she would make sure that judgments are not leaked before they are pronounced.
“Judgments are written before they are read. So it would not be proper for the matter to be in public before coming from the courts,” she stated.
Justice Akuffo further told members of the committee that she would strive to improve the services and conditions of the judiciary, and brushed aside suggestions that it is an appendage of the executive.
“Judges are very professional, administering justice, and do not arrive at decisions based on political influence,” she stressed.
She indicated that under her tenure, that is if approved as the Chief Justice, the Judiciary would be transformed to a service where quick justice delivery would be the order of the day.
Justice Sophia Akuffo noted that the introduction of electronic system in the courts could go a long way to help in quick and prompt justice system.
Moreover, she promised that if confirmed as CJ, she would advocate the electronic integration of the districts courts so that courts in the districts would also have access to facilities that would ensure swift processing of proceedings.
On the welfare of the judicial staff, the CJ nominee promised to liaise with the Accountant General for prompt and timely release of funds to improve and motivate the staff.
“You would see wonders when I am confirmed as Chief Justice,” she assured.
Justice Sophia Akuffo registered her displeasure over advertisement of lawyers and their activities on the social media.
She said justice systems require extra and diligent process, adding that under no circumstances should the players be seen to be taking advantage of the interest of the public.
On her take on the difficulties that had arisen within the justice system, Justice Sophia Akuffo mentioned delays of matters as a key setback.
“The delays in the courts are issues that must be dealt with. Most at times they are not the making of the courts but rather the parties involved,” she said.
The CJ nominee who endured five hours of intensive questioning demonstrated capacity in the delivery of her vetting.
Justice Sophia Akuffo reiterated her desire to continue the programmes that were initiated by her predecessor, Justice Theodora Wood, where prisoners were given a hearing inside their prisons to further look into their cases.
The ‘Justice for all programme’ has resulted in justice delivery to persons who were mistakenly imprisoned.
Justice Sophia Akuffo expressed the desire to assist the judiciary to improve on their capacity for proper dispensation of work at all times.
Her vetting was witnessed by Supreme Court justices, such as Justice William Atuguba, Justice Jones Dotse, Justice Brobbey, Justice Sophiah Adinyira, Justice Baffoe Bonney, Justice S.N Badegbe, Justice Darteh Baah, Justice Datsa, Justice Amonu Naizer, and some members of the Ghana Bar Association.