The 2nd lecture of this year’s Faith in Public Life series took place on Tuesday December 10, 2019 at Christ the King Parish. It was delivered by a seasoned Justice of the Appeal Court, Justice Amma Gaisie.
She was called to the bar in December, 1997 and worked in the Attorney General’s Department for 27 years, where she rose through the ranks to become the Director of the International Division in 2004 and later Solicitor General of the Republic of Ghana in 2008. She has represented the government in the negotiation of national and international agreements at the World Bank, African development bank, China Exim Bank among others. She has also served on a number of boards including the Legal Services Board, Security and Exchange Commission just to mention a few. She is currently the Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council and Peace and Justice Committee of St. James Catholic Church, Osu.
In her introduction, she made reference to the 1st reading of the 1st Sunday of Advent from book of the prophet Isaiah which states that, walking in Gods ways will strengthen our faith, impact our lives and service positively in whatever sphere we find ourselves. She also urged all present not to be Christians only in church or their homes, but everywhere they find themselves.
In her delivery, she mentioned five principles which should guide every Christian’s life: Love, respect, integrity, humility, honesty and perseverance in prayer. Christians must strive to love one another unconditionally just as Christ loved the church. Relating this to her work as a judge, she emphasized the fact that she loved each and every one of her colleagues, subordinates and even clients, irrespective of where they came from. Also due to her love for her subordinates, she mentored a number of them, most of whom have currently risen through the ranks in the service. She also made time off her busy schedule to spend time with clients who sometimes broke down in tears as they narrated their stories. Even when there was no way she could help, the love she demonstrated made them leave her office with some hope.
Faith In Public Life, Advent Lecture Series: Justice Amma Gaisie
The second principle was respect, which she likened to living one’s faith without dishonoring or judging people who think differently from the way we think. She added that greeting, and addressing people with Mr. Miss or Aunty etc. is a way of showing resect irrespective of the persons age. She cited an example of her driver whom she referred to as Uncle Kweku though she is advanced in age than he is and everyone, including her mother refers to him as such. She urged all present to respect one another since God doesn’t dishonor us irrespective of the wrongs we commit.
She further spoke about integrity and the need for people to set a good example for others to follow. She challenged all present to show this by action and not by mere proclamation. Referring to her life as a judge, she stressed the fact that she has never taken a bribe or gift to put her integrity at stake. She also ensured she never handled cases of people she knew, since it could affect her judgement. Speaking about honesty, she stated that living by this principle may not be that easy, but one could draw strength and inspiration from God to live truthfully.
Perseverance in prayer was the last principle she spoke about. She said Living in a manner that exemplifies the Christian faith will only be possible when you persevere in prayer. She added that throughout her life as a lawyer and as a judge, she learnt to lean on God and not on her own strength and that is how she has managed to survive, considering how challenging her work is.
Sharing her experience as a Judge, she stated that she worked for the best interest of the state and to protect the government from trouble. She added that prayer is her bedrock as a judge.
In response to a question about corruption in the Judicial System, Justice Gaisie emphasized it was just a perception and that it wasn’t as bad as people think it is. She revealed that judges work very hard and sometimes have to sacrifice their sleep time to ensure people get the justice they deserve. However, she reiterated that human failing is universal, even in the church.
By Joshua Pwalia