By Ken Sackey, GNA
Accra, Oct. 3, GNA - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn-in four new Supreme Court Judges, with a call to the judiciary to be just in the delivery of justice.
They are Justice Samuel Marfo-Sau, Justice Agnes Dordzie, Justice Nene Amegatcher, immediate past President of the Ghana Bar Association, and Justice Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, the President raised concern about the use and abuse of discretionary powers by judges in the sentencing regime.
He added that the concept of deterrence must be an important part of sentencing policy, especially in areas of great social concern, such as the fight against galamsey and vigilantism.”
He said although sentences were meted out in accordance with the Criminal Offences Act, there was discretion for the judge within a certain band.
“It continues to be a source of worry that persons, for instance, caught in the act of destroying our environment and polluting our water bodies, the very inheritance of our future generations, because of the phenomenon of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, get away with lenient sentences.”
“The media landscape is replete with accounts of persons who steal goats, for example, receiving sentences of not less than two years in prison. Yes, the sentences. I suggest that, in certain cases, the discretion must be exercised for the upper end of the band, i.e. for the maximum.”
President Akufo-Addo said of the new of the Supreme Court Judges “you have the independence of spirit, proven integrity, high moral character, and impartiality of mind to hold this high office”.
Their appointments, he noted were “truly well-deserved and merited”.
He reminded them that the final judicial power of the state rested with the judiciary, and that the Supreme Court was central to the execution of the functions of the judiciary.
He said it was unacceptable the situation where judges proffered judgements on the basis of decisions from lower courts and cited them as law.
“Judges, more so Justices of the Supreme Court must be learned, know their case law and ensure their decisions and judgements are properly motivated.”
Justice Marfo-Sau, on behalf of the four, thanked the President for the trust and vowed to discharge their judicial functions effectively and to protect the constitution at all times.
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