CDS Africa Stands Against Partisan Judicial Appointments

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CDS Africa

Administrator . Updated April 17, 2024

Africa Center for Democracy and Socio-economic Development, known as CDS Africa, which promotes democracy as a vehicle for development in Africa in response to President Mahama’s recent statement at the 3rd Annual NDC Lawyers Conference, where he expressed concerns over the increasing number of partisan judicial appointments. 

CDS Africa firmly stands against such appointments and highlights the disadvantages they pose to the integrity of the judiciary.

President Mahama’s remarks shed light on a troubling trend in the appointment of judges, which has led to an imbalance within the judiciary. This imbalance, with a significant number of judges being perceived as politically inclined towards a particular party, raises legitimate concerns about the impartiality and independence of the judicial branch of government.

CDS Africa recognizes the importance of an impartial and independent judiciary as a cornerstone of any democracy. Partisan judicial appointments undermine this fundamental principle in several ways:

Erosion of Public Trust: When the judiciary is perceived as partisan, public trust in the fairness and impartiality of the legal system is eroded. This, in turn, diminishes the legitimacy of court decisions and undermines the rule of law.

Undermining the Separation of Powers: The separation of powers is a crucial element of democratic governance. Partisan appointments blur the lines between the executive and judicial branches, weakening the system of checks and balances.

Risk of Politicized Justice: Partisan judges may be more likely to make decisions based on their political affiliations rather than on the merits of a case, leading to unjust outcomes and diminished access to justice.

CDS Africa strongly recommends the adoption of best practices for judicial appointments to ensure the integrity and independence of the judiciary:

Merit-Based Selection: Appointments to the judiciary should be based on the qualifications, experience, and competence of candidates, rather than their political affiliations.

Transparent Processes: Establish transparent and objective selection processes that involve input from diverse stakeholders, including Non-Partisan Judicial Commission, the Ghana Bar Association, legal experts, civil society, and the public.

Ghana needs a judicial conduct board responsible for overseeing the ethical conduct of judges and lawyers in general. This board should investigate complaints of judicial misconduct or ethical violations, ensuring that judges adhere to codes of conduct and ethics.

CDS Africa believes that Ghana can safeguard the integrity of its judicial systems and uphold the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

As a civil society organization dedicated to promoting democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. We advocate for the protection of fundamental democratic principles and work to ensure the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

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CDS Africa

We lead research, advocacy and initiatives to advance democracy and policies to bring about socio-economic development.

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