Judges challenged to be impartial

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A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie has charged judges and magistrates to be objective and impartial when called upon to handle election related cases. He explained that since election issues in the country evoked emotions, there was the need for judges and magistrates to follow strict judicial tenets when handling all such cases to ensure fairness, peace and development of the country. Justice Baffoe-Bonnie was speaking at a one-day training for some selected magistrates and judges from the northern sector of the country on regulation 2016 (C. I. 91) in Kumasi. The training was aimed at equipping the judges with the law, preparing their minds and ensuring that they are ready to handle election-related cases such as the recent limited registration exercise and other issues that might crop up during the election. In attendance were 93 magistrates, circuit and high court judges from Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, part of the Western and the three northern regions. The participants were taken through the entire C.I . 91 and other related issues. Justice Baffoe-Bonnie said since the issues of voter registration had become a matter of concern, “you could soon be called upon to handle cases based on what happens in your area”. He said since election issues were time-bound, it would be very necessary for the judges to put other cases in abeyance and ensure that they met the deadline for the election cases. C I 91 According to C.I .91, after the registration exercise, a District Registration Review Committee (DRRC) shall be established with membership comprising representatives of registered political parties active in the area, the district electoral officer, the district police commander, the district director of education and a representative of the traditional authority. The DRRC has the mandate to sit and review issues in relation to people who want to register but have their qualification challenged for various reasons. After the DRRC had given its decision and any of the parties was not satisfied, it could appeal by writing to the Commission and an appeal would be sent to the chief registration review officer, who is a high court judge in the region to handle the case. This is when the service of judges would be required by law to adjudicate to ensure that peace prevailed for the smooth continuation of the election process. – See more at: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/63950-judges-challenged-to-be-impartial.html#sthash.AdnrSWY8.dpuf

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