A nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Yaw Asare Darko is of the view that corruption tag on the judiciary is more of perception than reality.

Speaking during his vetting on Wednesday, Justice Darko explained the perception is based on several factors, including people’s experience in court.

“So there’s always this idea that people don’t understand why they lose cases and beyond that, there’s an industry that lags around the judiciary. People have made it their lifestyle where they come and say that ‘give me money let me go and give it to the judge’. 

“It is the reality. We can’t dispute that. It is their lifestyle, their livelihood, so it makes this whole idea of tagging the judiciary as being a corrupt institution very worrisome,” Justice Darko noted.

Recounting a personal encounter, he stated people most of the time are misguided and do not understand the legal system.

“I remember when I was in practice, I was consulted by vessel owners outside the country who wanted me to arrest a vessel in Ghana based on a certain claim that they thought they had. When they brought the documentation, I advised them that this claim that you have can be pursued in England, but in Ghana, our laws would not allow you to go to court and pursue this particular case based on the way you framed it.

“I didn’t hear from them – I think after two weeks they called me. They sent me a message that they have contacted a first-class maritime lawyer who has assured them that the claim can be pursued in Ghana. So I left the matter. After some time, I heard that the claim eventually ended up at the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court struck out the claim that it was incompetent because it could not be pursued in Ghana,” he narrated.

Justice Darko continued, “I happened to meet one of the white men at an occasion somewhere and asked what happened to your case. He said don’t mind your corrupt judges. The lawyer went and gave them money.’ I was shocked because the claim was bad, and I was shocked that he could say that some lawyer went to give money and five Supreme Court judges took bribe to do this, I was shocked.”

However, he admitted before the Appointments Committee there are some bad people in the judiciary who may be tarnishing their image.

“I have been on the bench for four years and there are judges that I have come into contact with are some of the finest people I’ve ever met in my life, and I’m not saying this to make up for any judges.

“I will not dispute the fact that there may be some bad nuts. There may be some bad nuts who may probably be ruining the reputation of the judiciary but there are remedies that the judiciary is already pursuing vigorously,” he added.