The Chief Justice, Sophia A. B. Akuffo, has urged the Judiciary and the Judicial Service to adopt the culture of continuous review of its five year strategic plan to make it remain relevant.

She said the review of the institution’s plan from time to time would help them to make changes and inputs to their five years targeted plan.

She said it was important to bring all stakeholders of the institution on board so as to enable each person know his or her role in implementing the institutions’ targeted plans.

Her Ladyship made this statement at the opening of a two-day Validation Workshop held to adopt ‘The Five Year Strategic Plan for the Judiciary and Judicial Service from 2020-2024’ in Accra.

She said the five-year Strategic Plan would affirm efforts to provide quality, efficient and accessible Court services, continuously adopt the use of Information and Communication Technology, ensure continuous legal education, increase transparency and accountability, for the use of public resources and to be a good community partner by increasing and adopting pro-poor and community outreach programmes.

Chief Justice Akuffo said for the past two decades, the service had undergone transformation to improve its responsiveness to the citizens in accordance with its mandate under the Constitution.

She said in the past, the efforts to reform were ad hoc, and not synchronized to provide a long-term plan to effectively deliver on the Service’s mandate, adding that reforms were thus dependent on immediate needs, a system which worked to some extent.

She cited the Fast Track High Court’s establishment and provision with computers, audio recorders and case management facilities for speedy and effective trial as an initial effort.

She said the current Plan, had been validated and it would build upon past successes in meeting the greater demands placed upon the Service.

She said the new document would provide fresh impetus and guidance on how the Judiciary must broaden, deepen and sustain transformation for the long-term adding, “at the same time, it retains a clear and present focus on the directive mandate that the Constitution provides for the Judiciary of Ghana”.

Mr Tuinese Edward Amuzu, Key Expert in Rule of Law, speaking on behalf of the European Union and Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP), said working alongside with the Judicial Reforms and Projects Department through which ARAP had collaborated to training of Judges of both the lower and superior Courts, including Judges of the Court of Appeal has been very productive.

He said ARAP had also supported the electronic platform for the Public Relations and Complaints Units of the Judicial Service and work with the Communications Department was supported with recent publication and printing of copies of the Judicial Digest.

He said they were working on the electronic Legal Web Library that would come into reality soon.

He said as ARAP comes to an end in January 2021 they were hopeful that the gains made would be sustained and enduring result from the collaboration with the Judiciary and the Judicial Service that this Strategic Plan could be the next step to a new way forward.

Justice Anthony Benin, Chairman of the opening ceremony, said Judges and magistrates were the ultimate owners and beneficiaries of the product out come and that they were not at the workshop as consultants but shareholders, hence they should approach the discussions with all seriousness to have a solid detailed and implementable strategic plan which would meet both internal and external expectations.

Madam Cynthia Pamela Addo, Judicial Secretary, said the second day of the workshop would host administrative and court staff to discuss the Plan.

She said the workshop would give the opportunity for an overview of the Plan, participants would be broken into small groups to discuss various aspects of the document and propose recommendations for the fine-tuning of the Plan to be discussed at the Plenary Session.

She said it was their expectation that the summary of recommendations would be adopted and incorporated into a workable final document that will meet our collective aspirations and drive us to our goal of excellence and quality justice delivery.

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