Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Education, Kwasi Kwarteng, has intimated that the fundamentals of the entire legal system should be reviewed and reformed and not only that of the Judiciary.
Speaking on the call for reforms of the Judiciary by some stakeholders, he stated that the issues in the legal space goes beyond the Judiciary and as such reforming must be done in its entirety. “Not only the Judiciary but even the fundamentals that establishes the Judiciary ought to be looked at.”
According to the Education Ministry PRO, the Judiciary sources power from the constitution and so, if there is a constitution which is more or less like a political document which is not developmentally biased, the nation is likely to get some hitches and administrative inefficiencies within a state institution like the Judiciary.
Kwasi Kwarteng lamented about the fact that the legal space in general has issues, citing an example that even students have to struggle when it comes to admission into the law school. “At some point, you expect Ghana Bar to speak but you will not get them.”
“Beyond the Anas exposé sometime back, we’ve all had an encounter with the Judiciary that we felt that it wasn’t the best; justice delays, the administrative delays. So, the entire justice system ought to be reviewed not necessarily the Judiciary system alone.”Kwasi Kwarteng
Legal system a complex one
The PRO noted that looking at the nation’s prisons for instance, there are issue of bail and those who have been there for some months and years who’s issues have not been heard, “is not good”. He described the system as a really complex one that has to be looked at.
According to Kwasi Kwarteng, the call for reforms serve as an opportunity and an invitation for a broader conversation about an entire review of even the document that serves as the foundation and gives these state institutions their power. “Because there are really great and wild inefficiencies in state institutions.”
“We have an administrative and structural challenge that we have to look at. And so, such a call, I buy it. Such a call is a good one that we have to look.”Kwasi Kwarteng
Kwasi Kwarteng posited that if the legal system is reformed which will take effect on the Judiciary, it will in turn increase the confidence people have in the Judiciary. He described the Judiciary as more or less a currency that thrives on the value that people place on it.
“So, if today, people do not place value on it [Judiciary] and the Justices of the Supreme Court, any other ruling that comes, they[people] are going to doubt it and when there is doubt, it leads to resentment, some level of acrimony that people will even have and bad fate towards even a probably good ruling the court has made. And that will not be good for us as a country.”Kwasi Kwarteng
Also speaking on the issue, Murtala Mohammed, MP for Tamale Central, averred that the Judicial Service knows there are issues in the system and have conducted previous investigations in that regard, as such, the calls for reforms should not come as a surprise.
Murtala Mohammed indicated that Ghana is practicing democracy and in democracy, there are supposed to be some checks and balances. He stated that these checks and balances can be achieved when there is equal distribution of power and influence by “the three arms”. He explained that in democracy, one arm of the law is not important than the other and must all function equally.