Ghana’s Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, has called for a more rapid application of contempt proceedings against judges who comment on ongoing court cases.
The CJ made the remarks while speaking at the 7th Annual Legal Ethics Training Programme organized by the African Centre on Law and Ethics (ACLE) at GIMPA’s law faculty.
The same standards should apply to judges as they do to ordinary citizens who comment on pending cases, she opined.
The Chief Justice referred to the judges’ code of conduct, which expressly prohibits them from making public statements that could influence the outcome or fairness of a pending or impending court matter.
“If we could call an individual for contempt before any court for discussing a case in court, then we ought to haul a judge even faster” Gertrude Torkornoo said in her address.
“A judge shall refrain from making any public statement that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court or any non-public statement that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing. As you can see, I am reading, that is part of the code of conduct on propriety” Justice Torkornoo added.
Her remarks follow those of Dormaahene Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu II, a traditional leader as well as a high court judge. On requested that the trial of Assin North MP James Gyakye Quayson be halted and terminated by the President and the Attorney General.