He furthered that bail should be granted as a constitutional right and it should not be used as a punishment noting that there is bias on the discretional part of Magistrates and Judges to grant bail which is detrimental to the justice sector in the country.
He called on Chief Justice Abdulai H. Charm and stakeholders involved in the judiciary to ensure they implement policies that will determine the manner in which bail and sentencing is granted stating that such conditions should be of the same leverage across the country.
He said he is disappointed to hear Magistrates or Judges openly making condemning and resentful statements against accused persons even before the start of a preliminary investigation or trial, which he noted is unfair and biased to the accused.
The “Justice sector should serve its purpose and should dispense justice according to the norms and principles of the law whereby the complainant and accused should be given equal opportunity to prove themselves in the court of law.” Lawyer Gabbidon went on that Magistrates and Judges should only take stands or use their discretion after prosecution may have deduced enough evidence.
He also mentioned the issue of adjournment as another contributing factor to the congestion of prisons in the country, blaming most lawyers for long adjournment, maintaining that “to make simple bail application some lawyers ask for adjournment, and even find it difficult to make bail application which is embarrassing and disappointing to our practice and our clients.”
Head of the Bail and Sentencing Working Group, Justice Brown Marke acknowledged the challenges in the judiciary and affirmed how important it was to revisit some of the policies to ensure an effective Court system.
Justice Marke told the lawyers that their contribution and ideas can make a difference in the justice sector and therefore urged them to be steadfast in their work. He promised that the working group will facilitate the reformation of bail and sentencing in the country.