Supreme Court of Ghana

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Supreme Court of Ghana
Supreme Court of Ghana.jpg
Aerial view of the Supreme Court Buildings
Established1876; 146 years ago (1876)
LocationAccra, Ghana
Coordinates5°32′43.8072″N 0°12′17.3736″W / 5.545502000°N 0.204826000°W / 5.545502000; -0.204826000Coordinates: 5°32′43.8072″N 0°12′17.3736″W / 5.545502000°N 0.204826000°W / 5.545502000; -0.204826000
Composition methodPresidential nomination, in consultation with the Council of State and with Parliamentary confirmation and approval
Authorized bySupreme Court Ordinance, 1876 and Constitution of Ghana, 1992
Judge term lengthMandatory retirement at age 70
Number of positionsA minimum of 10
WebsiteThe Judicial Service of Ghana
Chief Justice of Ghana
CurrentlyKwasi Anin Yeboah
Since7 January 2020
Lead position endsMay 2023

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 of the Gold Coast went to the West African Court of Appeal (WACA) established in 1866. Ghana withdrew from WACA following independence, then abolished appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London in 1960.[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]

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 of Ghana 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 judges.[7]

Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

The following is a list of the judges of the Supreme Court.[11][12] In July 2018, President Nana Akufo-Addo appointed four new judges to the Supreme Court. They were Samuel K. Marful-Sau and Agnes M.A Dordzie, both Justices of the Appeal Court, Nii Ashie Kotey, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana and Nene A. O. Amegatcher, a lawyer in private practice who also a former president of the Ghana Bar Association.[13] One of the longest serving judges of the Court, William Atuguba retired in the same month. He had been on the Supreme Court after being nominated by Jerry Rawlings in November 1995[14][15] until July 2018.[16] The last female Chief Justice was Sophia Akuffo. She was the last Supreme Court Judge appointed by Jerry Rawlings to retire. She retired on 20 December 2019 and was replaced by Kwasi Anin-Yeboah on 7 January 2020. In December 2019, President Akufo-Addo appointed three new judges to the Supreme Court. They were Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson and Gertrude Tokornoo.[17] They are to replace Sophia Adinyira, Vida Akoto-Bamfo and Sophia Akuffo who have either retired or are due to retire.[18]

List of Justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana[19]
Judge Date Appointed Appointer
Kwasi Anin-Yeboah
(Chief Justice)
June 2008[20] John Kufuor
Jones Mawulom Dotse June 2008[20] John Kufuor
Paul Baffoe-Bonnie June 2008[20] John Kufuor
Gabriel Pwamang 29 June 2015[21] John Mahama
Agnes M.A Dordzie 13 July 2018[13] Nana Akufo-Addo
Nii Ashie Kotey 13 July 2018[13] Nana Akufo-Addo
Nene A. O. Amegatcher 13 July 2018[13] Nana Akufo-Addo
Mariama Owusu 17 December 2019[17][22] Nana Akufo-Addo
Avril Lovelace-Johnson[17][22] 17 December 2019 Nana Akufo-Addo
Gertrude Torkornoo[17][22] 17 December 2019 Nana Akufo-Addo
Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu[23][24] 22 May 2020 Nana Akufo-Addo
Clemence Jackson Honyenuga[25][24] 22 May 2020 Nana Akufo-Addo
Joy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu[26] 26 May 2020 Nana Akufo-Addo
Yonny Kulendi[26] 26 May 2020 Nana Akufo-Addo
Some recently retired Supreme Court Judges[27]

List of Chief Justices of the Supreme Court[edit]

Since its inception in 1876, the Supreme Court has had 27 Chief Justices.[46]

List of Chief Justices of the Gold Coast and Ghana
Chief Justice Time frame Period
Sir David Patrick Chalmers 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[47] 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)
[48] 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 [33] 15 June 2007 – 8 June 2017 4th Republic
Sophia Akuffo 19 June 2017 - 20 December 2019 4th Republic
Kwasi Anin-Yeboah 7 January 2020[49] to date 4th Republic

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ghanaian criminal court system". Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  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 6 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "History – Summary". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 13 February 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 1. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 2. Archived from the original on 6 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  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 6 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  8. ^ "1992 Constitution:Article 128(1)". Ghana Review International. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007. 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. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  12. ^ "The Judiciary – Justice of the Supreme aCourt". Ghana local government website. Min. of Local Govt., Rural Dev. & Environment & Maks Publications & Media Services. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
  13. ^ a b c d "Akufo-Addo appoints 4 new Supreme Court Justices". GhanaWeb.com. GhanaWeb. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Atuguba was an NPP parliamentary candidate in 1992 - Gabby reveals". Ghanaweb.com. Ghanaweb. 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Supreme Court adjourns ruling in Minority leader's case". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 14 May 1998. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Justice William Atuguba retires after 44 years as a judge". GhanaWeb.com. GhanaWeb. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d "Akufo-Addo swears in 46 judges". ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Nana Addo nominates three new judges to Supreme Court". Ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 12 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Supreme Court Judges". www.judicial.gov.gh. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  20. ^ a b c d "Four new Supreme Court Judges Sworn In". General News of Wednesday, 11 June 2008. Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original on 14 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  21. ^ "Mahama swears in two Supreme Court Judges". Ghanaweb.com. Ghanaweb. 29 June 2017. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  22. ^ a b c "Apply laws without fear or favour – Akufo-Addo to new Supreme Court Justices". myjoyonline.com. JoyOnline. 17 December 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Amadu Tanko sworn in as first Muslim Supreme Court Justice". www.ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  24. ^ a b Dapatem, Donald Ato (23 May 2020). "President swears in 2 Justices of Supreme Court". Graphic Online. Accra. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  25. ^ "Overlook vetting challenges – Akufo-Addo to Justice Honyenuga". www.ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 22 May 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  26. ^ a b c "I'll serve Ghana – New SC judge Mensah Bonsu". www.ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 26 May 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Supreme Court of Ghana – Members of Supreme Court (2005)". Ghana Home Page. 2005. Archived from the original on 9 March 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  28. ^ "3 Judges nominated to Supreme Court". Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  29. ^ "Judiciary will use technology for quality justice - Justice Sophia Akuffo". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 19 June 2017. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  30. ^ "graphicghana.info". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
  31. ^ "Death of the Chief Justice of Ghana". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2007.
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ a b "Kpegah urges new Chief Justice to unite judges". General News of Friday, 15 June 2007. Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2007.
  34. ^ "Akufo-Addo swears in Georgina Wood to Council of State". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  35. ^ "SC Justice Rose Constance Owusu retires". GhanaWeb.com. Ghana Webq. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Two Supreme Court Judges sworn in". Daily Graphic. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  37. ^ Hawkson, Emmanuel Ebo. "Judicial Service honours Justice Akamba". Daily Graphic Online. Graphic Communication Group Limited. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  38. ^ De-Graft Johnson, Jeffrey (4 January 2017). "Akamba Bows Out". DailyGuideAfrica.com. Daily Guide Africa. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  39. ^ Asamoah, Obed (2014). The Political History of Ghana (1950-2013): The Experience of a Non-Conformist.
  40. ^ "Two new Supreme Court Judges sworn in". Official website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  41. ^ "Supreme Court judge Sophia Adinyira retires". ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  42. ^ a b "New Justices Get Approval". Modern Ghana.com. Modern Ghana. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  43. ^ "Justice Akoto-Bamfo bows out from Supreme Court". ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  44. ^ "Justice Gbadegbe cries in Court as he retires". www.ghanaweb.com. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  45. ^ "Don't compromise on requirements of justice - Justice Gbadegbe". MyJoyOnline.com. 3 December 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  46. ^ "List of Chief Justices". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ The Supreme Court was left intact under this military regime. See note 5.
  49. ^ "Parliament okays Justice Anin Yeboah as Chief Justice". ghanaweb.com. GhanaWeb. 24 December 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2020.

External links[edit]