The Judicial Service led by the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has launched a Performance Review Programme aimed at putting judges and magistrates on their toes to deliver on their mandate to the people.
The programme would ensure that the judiciary regularly monitors and evaluates judges and magistrates in order to detect any shortcomings that adversely affect their ability to deliver.
Launching the programme in Accra, the Chief Justice, said the programme would also weed out those who after a series of training failed to meet the professional standards and had become “non trainable,”
According to the CJ, the programme is an “internal quality assurance arrangement” but it would not interfere in the work of judges and magistrates.
“The Performance Review Programme would discourage abuse of processes, reviews, and eventually delays. The fact that a judge’s conduct would be reviewed should spur or motivate judges and magistrates to discharge their duties without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
“A confident judge does not panic no matter the perceived influence, ” the Chief Justice noted.
*No opportunist commenst*
Justice Anin Yeboah added that the programme would not give room for biased and opportunist comments by court users.
While launching the programme, the CJ urged the judges and magistrates not to use “offensive language” in their judgements and appealed to lawyers and court users to fill the judges and magistrates Performance Review Forms “with condor or devoid of prejudice”,
“I am of the firm view that the review would not affect the impartiality of judges but strengthen their judicial independence and judges would also administer justice effectively and efficiently,” he added.
Justice Gabriel Pwamang, a Justice of the Supreme Court who doubles as the Chairperson of the Judges and Magistrates’ Performance Review Programme, said judges and magistrates would be assessed through the evaluation of submitted judgements/ rulings, and observations of court proceedings.
Justice Pwamang added that judges and magistrates would be evaluated by mentor senior judges, completion of feedback forms by court users and feedback forms by lawyers.
He intimated that to ensure consistency, transparency and objectivity in the evaluation process, the Chief Justice had given approval for standardised forms developed by the Committee.
“Self-appraisal forms would have to be completed by the Judge or Magistrate,” he added.
Under the programme, a committee will monitor and evaluate the work of judges by witnessing the various court sittings, delivery of quality judgements and rulings of various judges as well as obtain feedback from the public. The programme also comes with mentoring opportunities.
The Members of the Committee to review judges and magistrates performance are: Justice Sir Dennis Adjei, Justice Anthony Oppong, Justice Mrs Angela Mensah Homiah, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, Justice Afia Serwa Asare- Botwe, all of the Court of Appeal with Mr Anthony Forson, former President of the Ghana Bar Association and Mr Frederick Naidoo, Head of Human Resource of the Judicial Service.
Present at the launch were Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, Justice Samuel Asiedu, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Amadu Tanko, Justice Yonny Kolendi, all being Justices of the Supreme Court.
Others include Justice Aboagye Tandoh, Lawyer Yaw Oppong, the Director of Legal Education of the Ghana School of Law among others.