You will find in me an dependable and trustworthy partner – Prez. to new Chief Justice

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Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo L President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo R
Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo L President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo R

President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo that she will find in him a dependable and trustworthy partner as far as handling the affairs of the judiciary is concerned.

After administering the Oaths of Allegiance, Secrecy, and the Judicial Oath to her at her swearing-in ceremony held on Monday, 12 June 2023, at the Jubilee House, the president said: “I have no doubt that Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo will be an effective leader of the judiciary, zealously defend its independence, constantly uphold its dignity, and be a worthy successor to Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.”

“I am expectant that her tenure as Chief Justice will also be marked by order, fairness, diligence, deep-seated respect for the rule of law, and continuation of the modernisation of judicial functions and the expansion of judicial infrastructure,” the president added.

The president added: “I want to assure Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo that just as I did with her predecessor, I will be a dependable and trustworthy partner of the judiciary, so that that Executive and Judiciary can work together in the spirit of mutual respect to consolidate the tenets of good governance for the benefit of the Ghanaian people.”

Mr Akufo-Addo pointed out that the “choice of Mrs Gertrude Torkornoo as the 15th Chief Justice was not a particularly difficult one to make in view of her level of qualification, the number of years served with distinction on the bench in the superior courts of judicature totalling 19 years, initially in the High Court, then at the Court of Appeal and finally at the Supreme Court and the considerable experience garnered as a result.”

He said: “In 2004, she was appointed by the 2nd President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufour, my own boss, to the High Court where she served for 8 years.”

“In October 2012, she was appointed by the 4th President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama as a justice of the Court of Appeal, a position she held for 7 years.”

“I had the honour on 17 December 2019 to appoint her to the Supreme Court. All three living Presidents of the Republic have each had a hand in her judicial advancement,” President Akufo-Addo added.

In her inaugural speech, Justice Torkornoo accepted the responsibility “with utmost humility and a sense of deep obligation to the nation”.

She said that there is the need for an increase in the budget of the judiciary to allow the service room to expand its infrastructure, automation and digitalisation agenda because, “undoubtedly, the efficiency of court processes and administration is assured with more deliberate use of technology”.

“As Chief Justice, I wish to express my determination to relentlessly seek the support of the Legislature in matters of the budget of the judiciary and the support of both the Executive and Legislature for accelerated infrastructure in technology, and for innovative models of doing business with technology”.

“The expansion of electronically accessed library services will require support. An increase in the percentage returned to the Judicial Service from our internally generated funds will greatly help to accelerate the work that needs to be done,” she noted.

She said the raising of facilities to create world-class centres of judicial learning, and exhibition of historical accounts around the development of justice systems will be a target for revenue creation.

On legal education, the new CJ said the statutory duties of her office “stretch beyond the administration of justice to include oversight of legal learning as chair of the General Legal Council and the Board of Legal Education”.

She observed that “the development of democracy has placed greater attention on the learning of law,” adding: “I stretch a humble hand to the Bar, institutions of legal learning, legislature and all stakeholders to assist with interventions for raising standards of excellence in the training of lawyers.”

“For the danger of bad lawyering lies not only in losses for those represented, but also decreased values in the nation’s economy. In assuring of quality legal learning, we can only win together,” she pointed out.

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