Ghana’s Chief Justice has said the attitude of citizens to time, especially those in the public sector, is “repugnant and reprehensible”.
During a call on her by Punctuality Ghana Foundation, the Chief Justice said the same attitude pervades in the judicial service as well, a situation which she said contributes to the delay in dispensing justice.
“Because somebody, a lawyer or the party, was late and has missed the boat for so long that there is nothing that the law permits the court to do to put the actor back before it, and all we have to do is strike it out because we will not even have the competence to deal with it.
“For example, the interminable delays that often attend criminal trials and endanger the individual liberties of criminal suspects on remand can be traced directly, in part, to this phenomenon. The various actors in the criminal justice sector who are not immune to this unsavoury practice are collectively culpable for this sad state of affairs”, she noted.
“Admittedly”, she said, “Punctuality is not an issue only for the public service; it has eaten deep into the very fibre of our nation, but it is safe to assume that the canker is particularly prevalent in the public service. There is enough literature to confirm that, and I am in no doubt that the majority of us gathered here have our own personal experiences to share in this regard.
“Our repugnant and reprehensible attitude toward time must change drastically if the public service is to provide the leadership that is required to drive national development. We seem oblivious of the fact that time is a valuable, non-renewable resource which is irrecoverable when lost. If time is money, then have we paused to reflect for a moment on how much we lose as a nation each day as a result of our individual and collective tardiness at the workplace?”.
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