Telecasting court proceedings apt, but it’ll cost the taxpayer’ – JUSAG

The President of the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG), Alex Nartey, is backing calls for the broadcast of court proceedings in the country.

There have been several appeals by some Ghanaians to the Judicial Service to start broadcasting proceedings of prominent constitutional, criminal and human right cases in the country, with the conviction that it will help deepen the country’s democracy, and engender public trust in the activities of the judiciary.

Speaking to Citi News, the President of the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) Alex Nartey, said allowing the broadcast of court proceedings will be a good move, but Ghanaians must be ready to bear the cost associated with it.

“Any call that our court hearings be telecast is a call in order, and we must all support it, but it comes at a cost at the instance of the taxpayer, and we must all be ready to pay for whatever gadgets we need for all the courts nationwide to be able to do a decent and efficient telecast,” he said.

He noted that the Judicial Service will need to procure modern equipment and recruit persons to operate them and this will be done across the country which will be a substantial investment.

He also added that the scope of what should be telecast must not be limited to only political matters but all other critical cases including domestic violence and child abuse.

“The judiciary has already set the tone, and we have certain limited resources for that, but what I am saying is that telecasting court proceedings is no news, and so we have done it to some extent and so if it has become a popular demand that it should be so, why not? We only need to give ourselves resources to entrench that and mainstream it across the nation. Political cases are not more important than human rights cases. Cases where children are abused, etc. so we should place some of these issues above other usually important matters,” he added.

In Ghana’s recent history, one of the most significant times of telecasting a court proceeding live was in 2013 when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the results of the 2012 elections.

The Supreme Court okayed the call for a live broadcast with then Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Woode giving the directive that the hearing be telecast live by the nation’s broadcaster GTV and Radio Ghana.

The nine-panel judge adjudicating unanimously ruled in support of the directive for live coverage.

Justice Atuguba who gave the ruling stated that elections in the country come with a lot of tension and acrimony, and therefore it was proper for the proceedings to be telecast live on TV.

He said with the live telecast everyone would be offered the opportunity to see what is actually happening and know that the Court is hiding nothing from the public.


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