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Ghana’s judiciary not corrupt – Justice Crabbe

Justice VCRAC CrabbeCommissioner of the Statute Law Revision Commission, Justice VCRAC Crabbe, has defended the sanctity of the judiciary, saying Ghana’s justice system is “one of the best in the whole of Africa”.

He said it is important for Ghanaians to appreciate that the Judiciary is one of the significant institutions of state.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, Justice Crabbe stated that the Judiciary is made up of very honest and decent people who are willing to serve the nation to the best of their abilities.

Admitting there are some members of the institution who are corrupt, he said it is unfair that the whole institution is branded as such, and insisted that the judiciary is an excellent institution. He further explained that there is a difference between an institution which is corrupt and one that contains corrupt officials.

That is why, he said, corrupt judges are kicked out when the institution has evidence to take that actions.

“…when you come to the judiciary, I will admit, that in all societies you’ve got one or two bad eggs, but the Judiciary as a whole in this country is a very good system. I’m proud to have belonged to it,” the retired justice of the Supreme Court noted and said that “I’m proud of what they are doing now.”

Examining the legal system in Ghana, Justice Crabbe commented on some specific aspects of the law:

Law on Willfully Causing Financial Loss to the State

Justice Crabbe explained that this law was in the first place enacted to deal with “a certain bad situation” and therefore “if the evil it’s intended to cure is still there or could be there, then we need to have the law on the statute book.”

However, he stressed the need to appreciate that another law was passed alongside this one which says that “if you are taken to court on that law you have the option of admitting that oh yes, this thing has happened. If you are willing to pay the money back …you don’t go to jail…”

That law on willfully causing financial loss to the State, he insisted, was not passed necessarily to jail people but to cure a situation.

Law on Fear and Panic

He explained: “…if you are in a crowded cinema and you shout, fire!!! You are causing panic…because you are creating in the minds of people that there is an outbreak of fire and they are likely to die…So fear and panic depend on the circumstance under which a certain fact occurred,” the Justice stated.

He added: “That’s why sometimes the law is broad; it is not intended to sort of catch everybody but because of the nature of the problem you are dealing with.” Justice Crabbe conceded that sometimes how this law is applied or implemented is problematic.

Indemnity clauses

“It’s there and we have to live with it.”Justice Crabbe said persons in whose respect the clauses are contained in the statute books have earned it and hence nothing can be done.

“They have been indemnified over a long time, so if you remove those provisions from there do you think you [can] go and call them and prosecute them?” He highlighted, however, that there is a window of opportunity in spite of the existence of the indemnity clause and that that can be explored in the law courts.

Freedom of Speech

On this subject, the retired justice stressed that in the exercise of our right to free speech, there should be restraint. The constitution, according to him, imposes limits on everybody.

“So why should you in the exercise of your right to free speech say things about me which damage my character?” “Freedom is not license; if we are free to speak, we ourselves who are speaking must impose certain restraints upon us and realize that what we are saying will affect other people.”

From: Dorcas Efe Mensah/Myjoyonline.com



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