Chief Justice nominee Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo slammed public perceptions of the Supreme Court’s bias in unanimous decisions on political cases.
The nominee was asked by James Agalga, the MP for Builsa South, what she would do to address these perceptions, particularly the one about unanimous decisions in political cases.
The MP referred to recent comments by National Security Minister Kan-Dapaah on the matter.
Albert Kan-Dapaah, speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the national security strategy for judges of the superior courts, warned that the perception that the judiciary is biased has dire consequences on the country’s security.
He said if it is not checked, it will compel the citizenry to take the law into their own hands for personal satisfaction with the bench deemed biased.
“Injustice occasioned as a result of the absence of an effective justice delivery system or delayed justice or biased justice is certainly a threat to national security.
“Indeed, when injustice abounds, particularly in situations where the bench, which is considered the final arbiter of disputes, is deemed biased, citizens tend to take the law into their own hands most times without recourse to the established systems of justice delivery,” he said.
He added, “If the interpretation of the law is tilted in our favour all the time, people will start accusing the judiciary and will not have the confidence that they need.”
In her response, the nominee stated that whenever a court makes a unanimous decision, it means that all of the judges who sat on the case had no choice but to follow the law.
She explained that when this happened, it meant that the law was on the side of the judges.
”Whenever you encounter unanimous decisions, it tells you the law is totally on the side of the position taken by the court; that every member of the court, in fidelity to their judicial oath, cannot take a different position. It tells you that that is what the law is. So the only option is to learn what the law says. So it is not a matter of bias. It is a matter of the legal position.”