Attorney General: Chief Justice’s request for 5 more supreme court judges Is constitutional and timely


The Supreme Court of Ghana is not limited by the Constitution or the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459) regarding the number of Justices. This allows the appointing authority to expand the number of Supreme Court Justices based on the needs of justice, as explained by Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame in his brief.

In his analysis, the Attorney-General also highlighted the financial implications of the Chief Justice’s request, pointing out that increasing the number of Justices would impact the Consolidated Fund due to the emoluments of the Justices.

On 18 March 2024, the presidency sought the Ghana Bar Association’s (GBA) opinion on the Chief Justice’s request. In a letter dated 8 May 2024 and signed by GBA President Yaw Acheampong Boafo, the Bar Association supported the Chief Justice’s request but also made several recommendations. These included adequately resourcing the Supreme Court’s secretariat and automating court operations for real-time recording of proceedings.

The GBA’s letter stated, “We have reviewed the attached brief from the Chief Justice on the subject matter under reference, and comment and suggest as follows: That we agree with the request of the Chief Justice in principle.”

However, the GBA also noted, “We are, however, of the humble and considered view that the Chief Justice’s request should have been in respect of the need to increase the conventional number of Justices of the Supreme Court at present to twenty, as the Constitution, 1992, per Article 128(1) prescribes the minimum Justices of the Supreme Court to consist of the Chief Justice and a minimum of nine other Justices.”

The GBA added, “Requesting that the minimum number of Justices of the Supreme Court should be twenty will require a constitutional amendment, which is not the intention of the brief from the Chief Justice,” as stated by Yaw Acheampong Boafo.

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