IMANI Responds To The Court Ruling On Behalf Of Civil Society Groups

IMANI Responds To The Court Ruling On Behalf Of Civil Society Groups

IMANI Center for Policy and Education has said that it respects the findings and final rulings of the court however, it will continue to operate in the public arena and discharge its mandate to the best of its conscience.

In a press statement sighted by the Vaultz News, the think tank indicated that it will continue to represent the public the best way it can and it accepts that judicial power means judicial power.

 

 

“As research-oriented and activist civil society organisations, our real base is you, the public. And we shall continue to inform, mobilise and galvanise you for the cause of good governance. Final judicial power means just that, final judicial power. So, we totally respect the findings of the Court. The Justices have their mandate, which they are discharging. Here, in the public arena, CSOs also have their mandate and we shall discharge them to the best of our conscience and God-given ability.”

 

 

This follows the dismissal of the amicus brief presented by the think tank and other civil society organisations (CSO) by the Supreme Court.

The groups, together, filed an amicus brief, a request by someone who is not a party to a case to be allowed to join it to demonstrate expertise or provide knowledge that will have a bearing on the case, to ensure that the Electoral Commission does not undertake the new voters’ registration exercise.

The statement signed by the group’s President, Franklin Cudjoe, further noted that it will continue to react to inane arguments provided it is in its legal right.

It reads,when we see and hear porous arguments, like Deputy AG, Godfred Dame's, totally incoherent views on demographics and the "bloatedness" of the voters' register, regardless of where he makes them, we shall respond as is our democratic right and constitutional duty as citizens and activists.

Commenting on the amicus brief presented to the court, the Deputy Attorney General (AG), Godfred Dame referred to it as a hollow one without important legal points of value and a new perspective.

 

 

He said, “how can such an amicus brief be admitted? There was nothing new and of serious value they were bringing on board. Simple! We should get serious in this country.”

 

 

According to him, he likes civil society groups however, these “organisations seek to foist their biased and ulterior motivated views on a court, same should be jettisoned.”

On the other hand, Mr. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey thinks otherwise. In a Facebook post, he expressed shock at the premise on which the Supreme Court’s ruling was made.

 

 

It reads, “this is the first time in my life as a law scholar and lawyer, trained in the Anglo-American legal tradition, that I am learning that in order to be allowed permission to file an amicus curiae brief, one must be ‘neutral’ or disinterested in the case in question. This is the exact opposite of everything I know about amicus briefs.”

 

 

Meanwhile, the court has granted the CSOs to present a brief that analyses demographics, security logic, civil identification, fiscal prudence and how they all serve to weaken the discretion the EC has in choosing to accept and discard some identity documents.

Read the press statement below;

Press Statement re Supreme Court Amicus Brief Ruling

Fellow Patriots,

As you may by now have heard, we proceeded to Court to argue that the issues in the current proceedings related to the EC's decisions and conduct are not purely legal in nature.

In many ways the law is very clear: only Ghanaians can vote, and every effort should be made to ensure that every Ghanaian of sound mind and above 18 years of age be allowed to vote. It is the public administration and public policy questions of how to achieve that which are in mired in dispute.

Some of the issues are also technological, fiscal and related to information security.

Focusing purely on legal arguments, in our respectful view, would fail to serve justice and the broader public interest.

Consequently, we asked for permission from the Court to present a brief that carefully links analyses about demographics, security logic, civil identification, fiscal prudence and how they all serve to weaken the discretion the EC has in choosing to accept and discard some identity documents.

The Court refused because it said our views are publicly known and that they don't see what new dimensions we are thus going to add. We of course passionately, if also humbly, disagree. We have carefully perused every material presented to the Court. They do not address the contrast between authenticating identity and verifying citizenship; the dissipation of up to $17 million of public funds by discarding a perfectly valid means of voter identification; or international standards of civil registration as they apply to constitutional rights enforcement. We made many other novel arguments and propositions.

But as the ancients say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". Feel free to read the full document and judge for yourself if you have already heard these arguments in the court proceedings that have been reported so far.

Final judicial power means just that, final judicial power. So we totally respect the findings of the Court. The Justices have their mandate, which they are discharging. Here, in the public arena, CSOs also have their mandate and we shall discharge them to the best of our conscience and God-given ability.

As research-oriented and activist civil society organisations, our real base is you, the public. And we shall continue to inform, mobilise and galvanise you for the cause of good governance.

When we see and hear porous arguments, like Deputy AG, Godfred Dame's, totally incoherent views on demographics and the "bloatedness" of the voters' register, regardless of where he makes them, we shall respond as is our democratic right and constitutional duty as citizens and activists.

So, in addition to breaking down our brief into articles to be published widely, we shall also be writing more about the matters presently at the heart of the controversy over Ghana's electoral system.

That's just us doing our part for this beloved country. What are you going to do on your part? You can start by reading the brief at https://imaniafrica.org/2020/06/24/read-for-yourself-the-amicus-brief-that-was-not-accepted-by-the-supreme-court/

and sharing it widely. Thank you.

Signed

Franklin Cudjoe

On behalf of Amicus Applicants