Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, has in a rather harsh tone, expressed her anger at successive governments for not placing value on the judiciary in terms of financing, saying they are often the last arm of government to be considered when government is releasing funding.
According to the Chief Justice, the adjudicatory arm of government is often relegated to the background, with considerations for funding the operations of the service often treated as an afterthought.
She called for the Judiciary to be given the attention it deserves given the crucial role it plays in the society.
Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo made these comments at the 2018 GIMPA Law Conference in Accra on Thursday.
“It is important that the financing of the judiciary should be given serious consideration. We cannot continue to be some pathetic backroom part of governance where after everything has been served out and enjoyed then we get the scraps. That cannot happen!” the Chief Justice fumed.
‘Judiciary most frugal institution’
Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo further indicated that the judiciary, when adequately resourced, will carry out its core mandate of administering justice effectively.
In her view, calls for the judiciary to be adequately resourced are borne out of genuine concern, given that the institution does not require a lot of funds to operate efficiently.
“The government that is responsible for our court buildings, the High Court, the Circuit Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court and so on and so forth, if they really take a look, they will see that we are the most frugal of the governance institutions and when we say we need, we do need so that we will be able to run and administer justice to the people of Ghana with full competence.”
‘No money syndrome’
The ‘no money syndrome’ appears to be a long-standing challenge the judiciary has been battling with for years.
In 2014, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) asked government to immediately release funds to the Judicial Service.
The GBA in a statement signed by its National President, Nene Amegatcher had stated that the judicial service has been paralyzed by lack of funds.
”The Ghana Bar Association notes with regret that despite the fact that the constitution guarantees financial autonomy to the judiciary, the institution virtually has to be on its knees begging government to release its subvention.
”The situation has been worsened by the fact that the judiciary has not received even the inadequate budgetary provision for over a year,” a statement from the Association said at the time.