Be Agents Of Stability – CJ

Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo in a group photograph with members of the Judicial Press Corps and Judicial Service staff


Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo has entreated court reporters and journalists as a whole to be harbingers of stability rather than harbingers of instability, as the country prepares for the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7, 2024.

She also called on journalists to avoid unnecessary sensationalism of issues in the coverage of the election in order to avoid situations that will lead to instability in the country.

“We all know that we have elections coming up this year and elections make everybody nervous. You are the makers but you could be the breakers of the peace… if in your presentation there is unnecessary sensationalism, that could trigger off situation which then we have to resolve,” she said.

The Chief Justice said this when she met members of the Judicial Press Corps for the first time since she took office in June 12, 2023.

Justice Torkornoo was hopeful that through this year, journalists would do their best to learn the intricacies of the legal structures around elections, indicating that “it is not enough to say elections are won or lost at the polling stations, sometimes there are these pedestrian statements.”

“For those of us who are officers of the law, and I include you, I would ask that when people start churning up disputes and contentions you confront them with the available structures so that fanciful notions are not thrown out to give unnecessary anxious moments to the nation,” she indicated.


The Chief Justice promised that her office and the management of the Judicial Service would be doing their best to ensure that the quality of information that is available to court reporters is enhanced by the digitisation and automation of the processes.

She also indicated that she is willing to get the Judicial Training Institute to put packages of learning together for court reporters, complete with case law so that they can understand questions of jurisdiction, especially in sticky situations such as the James Gyakye Quayson case which was done in three different courts, indicating that, “that will help you better do the reportage on why one matter is popping from place to place because different courts have different jurisdictions.”

Justice Torkornoo, however, indicated that learning and understanding is what will equip the reporters to present accurate report to the general public, and it is so critical that they act as harbingers of stability rather than harbingers of instability just because they themselves have not quite understood the structure.

“I want to humbly ask you to be persons of learning. Try and understand what you are encountering, don’t just jump. Sometimes an order is made in court and the version you hear outside is quite surprising… do try and understand. The wait to understand what was said is worth it rather than breaking news to put out what really is different from what was said,” she said.

The Chief Justice added that she is going to do her best to share as much information because, “I think we need to demystify what happens in this place (the courtroom) because what happens in this place is not meant to destroy, it is meant to built.”

“It is only because it is so variegated with so many angles all the time, so it takes a person who understands it to be able to have a proper conversation with the public, and you are the interface between us and the public, we cannot come into the public space and express ourselves.”

Six new members were sworn-in to join the 27-member Judicial Press Corps, which is a group of journalists covering cases related to the court and the judiciary in the country.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak