Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo has issued a resolute caution against the act of paying bribes to court officials who falsely claim to be collecting funds on behalf of judges, with promises of securing favorable verdicts.
The Chief Justice unveiled this warning, highlighting that such illicit money solicitations are frequently initiated by dishonest court staff aiming to unjustly enrich themselves, without any involvement or endorsement from the judges themselves.
Justice Torkornoo has passionately urged citizens to be vigilant and resolute in reporting any instances of court staff engaging in such unscrupulous practices to the Judicial Service for immediate investigation. Speaking during the Chief Justice Community Sensitization programs held separately in Akwatia and Kraboa Coaltar, both situated in the Eastern Region, the Chief Justice outlined the objectives of these initiatives.
The programs are designed to engage with local communities, shedding light on the intricate operations of the Judiciary and elucidating fundamental legal principles.
The primary goal of these sensitization campaigns is to demystify the inner workings of the judiciary, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of this pivotal branch of government.
Justice Torkornoo underscored the pivotal role that public cooperation plays in tackling instances of bribery involving court staff. By actively assisting the Judicial Service in identifying and addressing cases of extortion, citizens can help curb the deplorable trend of exploiting court users under the pretext of bribing judges.
The Chief Justice emphasized unequivocally that any court staff found soliciting funds on behalf of judges is not only engaging in an act of theft but also committing a criminal offense.
Justice Torkornoo reassured the public of the Judicial Service’s unwavering commitment to addressing grievances promptly. She highlighted the establishment of a revitalized Public Complaints Directorate, equipped with units across all courts, designed to receive and expeditiously address petitions.
In her address, Justice Torkornoo also unveiled a series of additional measures that the Judicial Service is actively implementing to bolster transparency and accessibility within the judicial process.
These measures include the preparation of comprehensive court user guides, aimed at elucidating the jurisdictions of different courts, transparently listing service fees to prevent any instances of overcharging, and fervently promoting the utilization of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and litigation.
The interactive nature of the sensitization program allows participants to engage in a direct dialogue with the Chief Justice. Attendees have the opportunity to pose questions pertaining to the Judiciary’s operations, to which the Chief Justice responds with detailed explanations and updates on various initiatives aimed at refining the delivery of justice and upholding principles of openness and impartiality within the system.