Veteran lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata has said judges should live by their judicial oath.
Tsikata explained to KSM Friday on the KSM Show that, “when judges are appointed by whichever president, they swear a judicial oath and that oath makes them responsible not to whoever appointed them, but to the constitution and they really have to live by that.”
He admitted that it is not easy for the judge because “as human beings, people have their political preference and so on, but ultimately when you are appointed to that position as a judge, you have to rise above whatever partisanship you have.”
Tsatsu Tsikata further averred that most of the judges before they get appointed have their political parties that they are loyal to and most people know that, therefore, living by the oath they swore and turning back on their political parties in some legal matters and judging against their political parties is not easy.
When asked how realistic it is for a judge to go strictly according to the law in matters that involve their political parties and the Presidents that appointed them, Tsikata answered:
“I think that’s really something which each person has to answer according to their conscience ultimately because once you are appointed, you swear an oath to uphold the constitution and the laws of Ghana; that’s what you are supposed to do as a judge.
“So, you don’t swear an oath to decide for this party or that party or for this President who appointed you or whatever […] we are all human beings, we know the extent to which human beings can be affected by biases one way or the other and being in practice over the decades, I’ve seen the extent to which judges make a lot of effort to ensure that they are making decisions in accordance with a principled position based on the constitution, based on the law and so on.”
He indicated that anytime he argues that a ruling or pronouncement of a judge is not in consonance with the constitution, “I am making what I believe is a legitimate observation…”
“In terms of my simple observation about what the role of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is, what she actually did, and what the consequences of what she did are for the country, I must honestly tell you there are many problems with the decision that the judges gave,” Tsikata stressed.