Yaw Oppong, a member of the legal team that represented the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 Election Petition case has said that judges are human beings and bound to make mistakes, just like any other human being, hence they are not above criticisms.
According to him, the language in criticizing them must however be temperate and measured.
“Our favorite case that is Republic v Mensah Bonsu and the declaration that Adade made, and it says I will wish to caution that we all – the public, the legal profession and the judges themselves – have a stake in upholding the integrity, authority and respect of and for the judiciary. If this should collapse, one of the surest foundations of our democracy will have vanished and we shall all be the poorer for it”, he indicated on an Accra-based radio station.
Mr. Oppong stressed that “of course judges like any other human beings do make mistakes and should be criticize. At times some of us feel that our judges are not criticized enough especially by the legal profession. I expect however that the language of criticisms should be temperate and measured”.
According to Mr. Yaw Oppong, the court has always welcomed criticism though there are instances one of two may not be entertained.
“Anytime we file an appeal, we say that we are aggrieved or dissatisfied by the decision and that in itself is a lawyer criticizing the decision of the court because if you cannot criticize the decision of a court you cannot even file for an appeal.”
“Even the omnibus clause that we put in is suggestive of the fact that you think that the judge did not consider your facts and the law in the way that the mandate given that judge obligate the judge to do so. So I will be surprise if any judge will in a way find problem with the lawyer who has taken the judge’s decision and is critiquing it”, he mentioned.