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Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi writes on the pick and choose attitude of the judiciary


Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi writes on pick and choose attitude of judiciary

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Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi Writes. ✍????


” _Ad officum justiciariorum spectat unicuique coram eis placitanti justitiam exhibere. ” – “It is the duty of justices to administer justice to everyone pleading before them.”_

Recently, and in light of the refusal to sign the anti LGBT+ Bill, and its attendant brouhaha, has led to different law suits in a manner that is not encouraging for our democracy.

Just as the Bill was about to be submitted to the President for signature the President made reference to a yet to be filed law suit and used same as a basis for refusing to sign the Bill.

On one hand you have a President of the Republic not only refusing to sign the Bill into law but then got his Secretary to write to parliament basically telling parliament not to transmit the Bill to the President.

This letter in the manner in which it was written was totally an affront to Parliament as an independent arm of government.

Lawyers and students of government know the significance of separation of powers which is to ensure independence and the check on each arm of government.

To see the Executive arm of government try to dictate to the legislature was most unfortunate.

In the said letter reference is made to principles of law on injunction which does not in any way apply to the circumstances of the Bill which is ready for signature.

Subsequently, a law suit was initiated by Hon. Dafeamekpor together with an injunction application seeking to restraint parliament from the further consideration of ministerial nominees which led to the suspension of the sitting of Parliament until the matter was heard.

This suspension of parliamentary activities due to the injunction application was considered by some to be tit for tat.

Whether this was so or not it was clearly a case of two arms of government which is the Executive and the Legislature going at each other.

In matters like this, it was expected that a neutral body, and the place of last resort which is the judiciary, would remain neutral and eschew all forms of bias either in favor of one arm of government or against any of the arms of government that was in a tango so to speak.

At this juncture it becomes prudent to think that the judiciary would position itself as the intermediary and the arbiter of last resort to settle whatever there is between these two arms of government.

Unfortunately, the judiciary in selecting which of the cases to attend to, scheduled the later case filed by Hon. Dafeamekpor and left the case of Richard Dela Sky filed earlier in time unscheduled.

To the public this is a classic case of pick and choose by the judiciary.

Anyone and everyone who files cases in court has the reasonable expectation that his case would be attended to with the urgency that is required for him to obtain his justice of the matter.

No one is happy when someone else jumps in front of him in the queue. Every reasonable person expects everyone else who came after him to join the queue without trying to get ahead of those present when he got there.

” _Festinatio justitiae est norverca infortunii.” – “The hurrying of justice is the stepmother of misfortune.”_

So what is the reason the court would jump the queue and put the case of Hon. Dafeamekpor ahead of that of Richard Dela Sky?

Was it to favor the Executive arm of government?

Was it doing the bidding of the Executive arm of government?

If that is the case then our constitutional democracy is nothing but a sham and the courts would not be helping matters but would be allowing itself to be a puppet when it is actually equal in stature to the Executive.

How would Richard Dela Sky reasonably feel when he realizes that the court has put someone ahead of him?

I wouldn’t be happy to see my case ignored by the court but to see other cases called. Is it to say that my case is not important?

Simply put; jumping the queue creates a grievance and whenever anyone engages in such behavior it paves the way and opens the door for people to cast aspersions and throw tantrums even in situations where they feel compelled not to speak.

The judiciary is an institution that must always command respect and it can only achieve this aim by checking itself and the decisions that it renders especially in politically hot situations like what has brought us here.

” __Justitia est virtus excellens et Altissimo complacens.”_ – ” _Justice is an excellent virtue and pleasing to the Most High.”__

We are admonished to respect the court and not to engage in any behavior that could possibly undermine the judiciary or the administration of justice but the question is how about the judiciary itself?

Is the judiciary above itself? Is the judiciary not to ensure that it’s decisions inspire and instill confidence in the people?

Can the judiciary pick and choose which case it wants to attend to according to its own whims and caprice?

Can the judiciary engage in discrimination in the selection of cases it has to handle?

Is the judiciary not also bound by Article 296 of the 1992 constitution?

With respect to the two cases in question before the court, one is about constitutional violations and the other is about appointing officers for the Executive which is a separate arm of government.

Is the Supreme Court in scheduling the case of the appointment of officers of the Executive arm of government saying that the Executive is more important than it’s own duty as a judiciary to check the violation of the constitution?

Mind you the number one duty of the judiciary is to guard jealously the 1992 constitution and to always ensure that it is either enforced or it is not violated.

Is the Supreme Court saying that it’s number one duty of stopping constitutional violations not as important as the appointment of officers of another arm of government?

So far I have not come across any reason given by the court for choosing to hear the later case instead of the former case which was earlier in time.

There’s also the earlier case against the passage of the E-Levy which has been pending for almost four years now without any attention from the court.

If it can be seen that in selecting cases for hearing the court is engaging in bias the court would be in violation of Article 296 which enjoins all officers of state including the court to be candid, fair and just in their dealings with members of the public which in this case would be the litigants.

It needs also to be noted that when the court engages in pick and choose of cases it would be using it’s own conduct to undermine itself and the administration of justice in general in the country.

The fact that I know my case has been ignored when I was first in time is reason for me to think the court is biased against me.

And when it happens in high profile cases of this nature where many people are watching the court and following to see what the court would do, any miscalculation of its steps or any attempt to ignore the expectation of the masses would be giving the masses the opportunity to lose confidence in the court which effectively undermines the court.

Bias must be eschewed in all of its forms as any semblance of bias is an affront to the proper delivery of justice as well as the proper manifestation of justice.

In the case of Awuni v. West African Examination Council [2003-2004] SCGLR, Sophia Akkufo JSC as she then was, (former Chief Justice) expounded the requirement of acting fairly and reasonably thus:

“I will not venture to give a comprehensive definition of what is fair and reasonable, since the qualities are dictated by the circumstances in which the administrative function is performed. At the very least, however, it includes probity, transparency, objectivity, opportunity to be heard, legal competence and absence of bias, caprice or ill-will.”

We are guided to learn from the above case that anything that seems to project bias undermines the delivery of justice and the court which rendered this very decision must always be mindful of that.

_”Jus naturae proprie est dictamen rectae rationis, quo scimus quid turpe, quid honestum, quid faciendum, fugiendum_.” – _”The law of nature is properly the dictate of right reason, by which we know what is dishonorable and what is honorable; what should be done, and what should be avoided.”__

_”Omnia honeste et ordine fiant.” – “Let all things be done honestly and in order.”_

Lawyer Isaac Minta Larbi.
IML ????????
@GOD IS GREAT ????????


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