A number of judiciary staff who have attained the retiring age of 60 years, were recently issued with letters from the Establishment secretary to proceed on terminal leave, prior to retirement as required by statute. This was published in the Government Gazette under Government Notice No.169. This move did not relate only to judicial staff but to all civil servants.
Within the judiciary, there has been compliance with the Notice and most of those affected have left. None of those affected challenged the Honourable Acting Chief Justice as indeed they are aware that it was not her directive but a directive from the Establishment Secretary.
However, a request was made to the Establishment Secretary, in the case of eight (8) officers who occupy certain critical positions within the judiciary (including Magistrates), to be allowed to stay on for a short period for proper take over arrangements to be made to ensure that there is no serious disruption to the functioning of the Courts and to the administration of justice. This is in pursuance of the judiciary’s goal to ensure improved justice Delivery and access to Justice. It must be pointed out that the request was made to the Establishment Secretary by the judicial and legal service commission long before the notice and letters were issued, as the judiciary was at all times aware of the statutory requirement.
In the interim, a succession plan has been developed and replacement staff are being prepared to take over, when those affected will leave with least disruption to the operations at the judiciary.
Julia Sarkodie- Mensah
Consultant Master & Registrar
15 October 2008