Omodele Adigun; Chiamaka Ajeamo
For the citizens to enjoy a better life and the country to witness sound economic growth, the governance system should implement a free, fair and impartial administration of justice.
Justice (Mrs.) Georgina Wood, the immediate past Chief Justice of Ghana, stated this recently at her public lecture on “Rule of Law, the Promotion of Sustainable Development and Ghana’s Experience: A View from the Bench” at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, as an integral part of her Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) Fellowship stay at the School.
According to her, the moderating influence of the judiciary on the more political branches is the basis of constitutional stability and balance, providing the needed conducive environment for sound economic growth and a better life for all.
The retired justice, therefore, canvassed for the judiciary to be accorded the respect , resources, strengthened and enabled to perform its roles.
Her words: “One key lesson I have learnt is that the imperatives of promoting a rule of law-based governance system, anchored on a free, fair and impartial administration of justice cannot be over-remphasised.
“The moderating influence of the judiciary on the more political branches is the basis of constitutional stability and balance, providing the needed conducive environment for sound economic growth and a better life for all. The judiciary must be accorded the same respect and resources and strengthened to enable it perform its functions.”
In October 2017, AIG announced the appointment of Justice (Mrs.) Wood as its 2017/2018 Fellow in recognition of her outstanding contribution to public service in Ghana. The AIG Fellowship is awarded each year to an individual from West Africa who has demonstrated evidence of outstanding contribution to the public good, through exemplary leadership in public service.
Responding to the lecture, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, AIG Founder and its Chairman, said: “We are indeed pleased to have Justice (Mrs) Wood (rtd.) as the AIG Fellow for 2017/2018 and are honoured that we are able to support outstanding senior public service practitioners from West Africa in enriching their understanding of policy, and in sharing their wealth of knowledge to aspiring young people and with the world.
“AIG’s vision is to be a catalyst for the emergence of a high-performing public sector in Africa and we remain committed to the actualisation of this goal, for the benefit of our continent,” he said.
AIG said in a statement that the fellows have the opportunity, during their time at the Blavatnik School of Government, to further develop their understanding of specific policy issues and solutions and to reflect on practices in other countries, with a view to returning to their country and helping to build competency and leadership capacity within the public sector, promoting the virtues of good public service and making the public sector attractive to the brightest minds. AIG Fellows will also serve as mentors to AIG Scholars.
In his commendation, the Dean of the School, Professor Ngaire Woods, praised the erudite bench member for sharing her outstanding experience of the justice system in Ghana .
“We are honoured to host Justice Wood at the Blavatnik School. We are grateful to her for sharing her outstanding experience of the Justice System in Ghana with our students and faculty.” he said.