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Leaving contempt of court in bosom of judges is PROBLEMATIC - Kwesi Pratt


Kwesi Pratt, Managing Editor of insight newspaper

1 years ago
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Editor-in-Chief of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt says the law of contempt should be clearly and properly defined to check its abuse by Judges.

According to him, it is very problematic to leave contempt of court to be solely determined by Judges.

He said this in relation to the Supreme Court convicting Prof. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, a member of the National Democratic Congress, for contempt of court.

Supreme Court Convicts Prof. Kpessa-Whyte

Prof. Michael Kpessa-Whyte was arraigned before the court following a series of tweets by him on May 19 when the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to expunge the name of Mr. Gyakye Quayson from its records as a Member of Parliament because he was wrongfully elected.

Kpessa Whyte wrote on Twitter: "The highest Court of the Land has been turned into ‘Stupid Court’".

“They have succeeded in turning a Supreme Court into a Stupid Court. Common – sense is now a scarce commodity”, he added.

He was ordered to appear at the Apex Court to show cause why he should not be cited for scandalizing the Supreme Court but Prof. Kpessa-Whyte pleaded "guilty with explanation" to the charge.

His legal team led by Dr. Justice Srem Sai also pleaded for mercy saying "we pray for the mitigation of sentence. My lord, immediately the matter was brought to his attention, he did issue a clear, unreserved apology which we have accordingly brought to the court’s registry, addressed to the acting Chief Justice".

“It is our humble prayer, in all humility, we plead for mercy. We are also undertaking that such a sad and regrettable occurrence will not ever again. We commit to defending the integrity of this honourable Court,” Dr. Sai added.

The Court, on Tuesday, May 30, has cautioned and discharged him.

Codify Contempt Of Court

Reacting to the issue, Kwesi Pratt asked for a review of the law of contempt stressing what constitutes contempt should be vividly specified.

"The problem is that the law of contempt must be properly defined and properly codified so that it doesn't depend on the whim of Judges...We must rethink the law of contempt so that it doesn't only lie in the bosom of Judges.

"It should be sole properly defined as in the case of theft, as in the case of libel and so on; so you know the parameters. Otherwise, what the Judge feels is contempt becomes contempt, thus he can jail you. I don't think that is proper", he said on Peace FM's "Kokrokoo" show.


source: theannouncergh.com