According to her, their actions have direct effects on the lives, rights, and liberties of those seeking justice, for which reason they must be time-conscious in order not to jeopardize the rights of those who depend on them for justice.
The Chief Justice (CJ) said this when she endorsed a punctuality campaign by Punctuality Ghana Foundation, a group championing punctuality at workplaces.
According to her, lawyers who are usually late for proceedings do not only cause harm to the court but also to their clients especially those on remand, as they usually suffer the most.
Justice Sophia Akuffo indicated that as a result of this act of lateness and absence on the part of lawyers, certain cases which need to be dealt with quickly tend to remain in the courts longer than they should, and the judges are sometimes left with no choice but to strike them out.
She stated that in the case of accused persons who are usually on remand during the pendency of the trial, even when they get acquitted and discharged, quite a portion of their lives are wasted in jail.
The CJ bemoaned the lackadaisical attitude some Ghanaians put towards work which is affecting productivity and also denying the nation of fortunes.
“Surprisingly, the same people who treat their jobs here with disdain and work lackadaisically travel abroad and do back-breaking works without offending the rules and making excuses. Whether it snows or rains, they go to work and on time and put in the required hours, because they know their very lives depend on their jobs and any lateness would not go unpunished,” she said.
Justice Sophia Akuffo suggested that children should also be taught to appreciate the importance of being punctual for school, adding that it would put them in a good position to develop a good sense of responsibility for themselves and others afterward.
Project Coordinator for Punctuality Ghana, Naa Meryeh Quaynor-Mettle, called for a change in attitude by making punctuality a habit in order to affect high-levels of productivity and rake in the much need revenue to support our developmental projects.
She said the foundation had taken the right step to lead the way and called on all Ghanaians to join the campaign.
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