Supreme Court of Ghana

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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Constitution

The Supreme Court of Ghana is the highest judicial body in Ghana.[1] Ghana's 1992 constitution guarantees the independence and separation of the Judiciary from the Legislative and the Executive arms of government.[2]

History[edit]

The Supreme Court was established by the Supreme Court Ordinance (1876) as the highest tribunal in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) during the colonial era.[3] Appeals from the Supreme Court went to the West African Court of Appeals (WACA) established in 1866. Ghana withdrew from WACA following independence.[4] After the military coup d'état of February 24, 1966, the National Liberation Council (NLC), by the Courts Decree, 1966 (NLCD.84) abolished the Supreme Court and vested judicial power in two sets of courts: the Superior Court of Judicature and the inferior Courts.[5] This was reversed by Article 102(4) of the 1969 constitution establishing the second republic.[6] After the coup on January 13, 1972, the Supreme Court was again abolished by the National Redemption Council with the reason that the 1969 constitution had been suspended and so there was no need for a court to "interpret and enforce it". Its functions were transferred to the Court of Appeal.[4] This was again reverted by the 1979 constitution when the third republic was established on September 24, 1979.[7] The Supreme Court was left intact after the December 31, 1981 coup by the Provisional National Defence Council, though it made changes to the court system by introducing public tribunals.[7]

On July 2, 2013 the Supreme Court sentenced the editor-in-chief of the Daily Searchlight newspaper, Ken Kuranchie, to 10 days in prison for calling the 9 Justices hypocritical and selective.

Current status[edit]

Memorial to the Martyrs of the Rule of Law in front of the Supreme Court of Ghana buildings.
Aerial view of the Supreme Court building.
Front view of the Supreme Court building.

The 1992 constitution stipulates that the Supreme court is made up of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court.[8] The Chief Justice is appointed by the President of Ghana acting in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of the country's Parliament.[9] The other Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President acting on the advice of the Judicial Council and in consultation with the Council of State. This must also be with the approval of Parliament.[10] The 1992 Constitution abolished all the public tribunals established under the PNDC and created the Regional Tribunal whose chairman was equated with the High Court judge.[7]

Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

The following is a list of the judges of the Supreme Court.[11][12]

List of Justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana[13]
Judge Date Appointer
Sophia Akuffo[14]
(Chief Justice of Ghana)
30 November 1995 Jerry Rawlings
William A. Atuguba 30 November 1995[15][16] Jerry Rawlings
Julius Ansah July 2004[17] John Kufuor
Mrs Sophia Ophilia Adjeibea Adinyira 2006[18] John Kufuor
Jones Mawulom Dotse June 2008[19] John Kufuor
Anin Yeboah June 2008[19] John Kufuor
Paul Baffoe-Bonnie June 2008[19] John Kufuor
Nasiru Sulemana Gbadegbe October 2009[20] John Atta Mills
Vida Akoto-Bamfo October 2009[20] John Atta Mills
Alfred Anthony Benin 11 November 2012[21] John Mahama
Yaw Appau 29 June 2015[22] John Mahama
Gabriel Pwamang 29 June 2015[22] John Mahama


Former Supreme Court Judges[23]

List of Chief Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

Since its inception in 1876, the Supreme Court has had 23 Chief Justices.[30]

List of Chief Justices of the Gold Coast and Ghana
Chief Justice Time frame Period
Sir David Patrick Chambers 1876–1878 Gold Coast
P. A. Smith 1878–1879 Gold Coast
Sir James Marshall 1880–1882 Gold Coast
N. Lessingham Bailey 1882–1886 Gold Coast
H. W Macleod 1886–1889 Gold Coast
Joseph Turner Hutchinson[31] 1889 - 1894 Gold Coast
Francis Smith (acting) 1894 - 1895 Gold Coast
Sir William Brandford Griffith 1895–1911 Gold Coast
Philip Crampton Smyly 1911–1928 Gold Coast
Sir George Campbell Deane 1929–1935 Gold Coast
Sir Philip Bertie Petrides 1936–1943 Gold Coast
Sir Walter Harrangin 1943–1947 Gold Coast
Sir Mark Wilson 1948–1956 Gold Coast
Sir Kobina Arku Korsah 1956–1963 Gold Coast (1956 – 6 Mar 1957)
Ghana – 1st Republic (6 Mar 1957 – 1963)
J. Sarkodee-Addo 1964–1966 1st Republic
Edward Akufo-Addo 1966–1970 military rule[5] (1966–1969)
2nd Republic (1969–1970)
Edmund Alexander Lanquaye Bannerman 1970 -1972 2nd Republic[6]
Samuel Azu Crabbe 1973–1977 military rule[4]
Fred Kwasi Apaloo 1977–1986 military rule (1977–1979)
3rd Republic[7] (24 Sep 1979-31 Dec 1981)
#[32] military rule[7] (31 Dec 1981–1986)
E. N. P. Sowah 1986–1990 military rule
Philip Edward Archer 1991–1995 military rule (1991–1993)
4th Republic (1993–1995)
Isaac Kobina Abban 1995 – 21 April 2001 4th Republic
Edward Kwame Wiredu 2001–2003 4th Republic
George Kingsley Acquah 4 July 2003 – 25 March 2007 4th Republic
Georgina Theodora Wood [28] 15 June 2007 – 8 June 2017 4th Republic
Sophia Akuffo 19 June 2017 4th Republic

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ghanaian criminal court system". Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers. Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  2. ^ 1992 Constitution Article 125(1). "Justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary which shall be independent and subject only to this Constitution."
  3. ^ "Historical Development of the Courts before Independence – The Supreme Court Ordinance, 1876". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 2. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  4. ^ a b c "History – Summary". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  5. ^ a b "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 2. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Historical Development of the Courts After Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 3. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  8. ^ "1992 Constitution:Article 128(1)". Ghana Review International. The Supreme court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court. 
  9. ^ Ghana Constitution:Article 144 clause 1 "The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President acting in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament."
  10. ^ 1992 Constitution:Article 144 clause 2 "The other Supreme Court Justices shall be appointed by the President acting on the advice of the Judicial Council, in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament."
  11. ^ "List of Judges of the Superior Court of Judicature". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  12. ^ "The Judiciary – Justice of the Supreme Court". Ghana local government website. Min. of Local Govt., Rural Dev. & Environment & Maks Publications & Media Services. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  13. ^ "The Republic of Ghana Judiciary". Official website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Judiciary will use technology for quality justice - Justice Sophia Akuffo". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Atuguba was an NPP parliamentary candidate in 1992 - Gabby reveals". Ghanaweb.com. Ghanaweb. 7 September 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Supreme Court adjourns ruling in Minority leader's case". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 14 May 1998. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "3 Judges nominated to Supreme Court". Ghana Home Page. 
  18. ^ a b "Two new Supreme Court Judges sworn in". Official website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Four new Supreme Court Judges Sworn In". General News of Wednesday, 11 June 2008. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  20. ^ a b "New Justices Get Approval". Modern Ghana.com. Modern Ghana. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "Two Supreme Court Judges sworn in". Daily Graphic. 
  22. ^ a b "Mahama swears in two Supreme Court Judges". Ghanaweb.com. Ghanaweb. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  23. ^ "Supreme Court of Ghana – Members of Supreme Court (2005)". Ghana Home Page. 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  24. ^ a b "Rawlings swears in two Supreme Court judges". General News of Wednesday, 29 November 2000. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  25. ^ graphicghana.info
  26. ^ "Death of the Chief Justice of Ghana". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  27. ^ http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/prof-justice-date-bah-retires-with-honour.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ a b "Kpegah urges new Chief Justice to unite judges". General News of Friday, 15 June 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  29. ^ "Akufo-Addo swears in Georgina Wood to Council of State". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  30. ^ "List of Chief Justices". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2016-09-01. 
  31. ^ Peile, John (2014). Biographical Register of Christ's College, 1505–1905. 2. 1666–1905. Cambridge University Press. p. 611. ISBN 978-1-107-42606-1. 
  32. ^ The Supreme Court was left intact under this military regime. See note 5.

External links[edit]