Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon Alexander Kwabena Afenyo-Markin, has clarified that Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo’s recommendation of five Justices for appointment to the Supreme Court is within her administrative rights.

He emphasized that the Supreme Court of Ghana is not being packed, as some critics suggest, and that the Chief Justice has not breached the 1992 Constitution.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Chief Justice cited the heavy workload of the Supreme Court as the reason for her request. This letter, however, sparked public debate, with some legal experts questioning the constitutionality of the move and opposition political parties accusing the President of packing the court.

At a press conference in Parliament on Monday, July 8, 2024, Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin contended that the Chief Justice has not violated any laws in her recommendation.

“As a Majority caucus in Parliament, these matters have come to our attention and we feel there is a compelling need to state our position on the matters that are in the public domain. We have become aware that the Chief Justice has noted a proposal to expand the Supreme Court to 20 Judges for efficiency and effectiveness. Some people are saying that the Chief Justice does not have such a mandate to do so. We disagree and we say that per Articles 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Constitution, there are some inherent powers provided for in this provision that allows the Chief Justice as the Chief Executive and Head of the Judiciary to make such proposals,” Afenyo-Markin defended the CJ decision.

He further noted, “It is instructive to note that, since independence, we have allowed institutions to grow. Even before 2019, Ghana had only ten regions. As we speak, we have an additional six, making it sixteen.”


General Secretary of the NDC, Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey, in a press conference on Thursday, July 4, described the recommendation as an affront to Ghana’s democracy. He claimed that President Akufo-Addo and the Chief Justice are conspiring to impose a “direct threat to Ghana’s judicial system,” calling it “an assault on our democracy, a betrayal of public trust.”

But Afenyo-Markin dismissed this assertion, stating that the framers of the 1992 Constitution anticipated a future need to increase the number of Supreme Court justices.

He explained, “The minimum number of Supreme Court judges as set out in the 1992 Constitution is evidence of the fact that the framers of the Constitution in their wisdom had anticipated that there would be a future need to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court. This is the reason why they settled on a minimum number and not a maximum number as provided for in the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

In light of this, Afenyo-Markin argued that the Supreme Court must be allowed to undergo reformation through expansion in terms of numbers.

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Source: Felix Nyaaba //


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