According to Justice Dotse, this is the only way the bench can exercise its authority and independence within the society.
He warned judges not to succumb to public and external pressures in the delivery of justice, since they will be held responsible for every decision they take.
“You will soon come to realize that the bench is not for timorous souls. You must be bold, courageous and confident in whatever you do. Certain decisions will stare you in the face, the matters will come before you. You are all magistrates or judges of trial courts and therefore you will not take solace that it is a panel decision.You are going to be held solely responsible for the decisions you take as a magistrate or as a circuit court judge and you must establish that level of confidence that you understand what you are doing. You must be bold. Sometimes if you think of what the public will say about the effect of your decisions, you might give a distinction that does not merit the type of decision you have been given,” he said.
He made the comment at the swearing in ceremony of newly appointed circuit court judges and magistrates in Accra.
You’re not gods – AG
At the same event, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Oppong cautioned judges to desist from turning themselves into demi-gods in the performance of their duties.
According to her though judges in the clerical order are put next to God, they are not gods yet and should not portray themselves as such.
“…Kindly note that though in the ecclesiastical order, it is said that your esteemed selves are next God, you are not gods – yet,” she said.
Marietta Brew Oppong said the judges must accord court users the necessary respect due them.
“You must thus demonstrate the due courtesy and civility due lawyers, litigants, court officials, witnesses, the general public, Police, law students, journalists, as well as other court users. You thus must be firm but fair, stern but not harsh and kind but not doting to the affections of bewildered users of the court who are sometimes lost in the labyrinth of legal rules jargons, processes and procedures in which a few lawyers and judges get lost themselves.”