14 June 2017

Ghana: Parliament Reschedules Vetting of Justice Sophia Akuffo to Friday, June 16

press release

The public hearing on the President's nomination, Justice Sophia Akuffo, as Chief Justice, has been rescheduled to Friday, June 16, 2017.

This follows a consensus reached by the Appointment Committee to abridge the 14-day interval for receiving complaints on nominees, especially when there was no petition against Justice Akuffo.

Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, who disclosed this at a brief press conference on Tuesday in Parliament, said the Committee had earlier set Monday, June 19, for the vetting but had to reschedule it to avoid keeping the position vacant.

Mr. Osei-Owusu, who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, said the Committee took into consideration the fact that former Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, had retired and subsequently appointed onto the Council of State, adding that the next available person to take over until a new Chief Justice was approved would retire in the next few days.

"The Chief Justice has retired already... a vacuum, so to speak, has been created because the next available senior [Justice William Atuguba] is also due to retire in a few days from now. We considered all the circumstances and as a committee, we reviewed the fact that to date, no petition has been brought against the CJ nominee. It may be helpful to abridge the time and do it as quickly as possible.

"That will enable us to take the whole day [on Friday] and use the weekend to prepare a report and probably by Monday we'll be ready for the report to be considered by the plenary," Mr. Osei-Owusu said.

Justice Sophia Akuffo holds a Masters in Law (LLM) from the Harvard University in the United States. She served as a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.

She was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. Initially elected for two years, she was subsequently re-elected until 2014 and is at present serving as Vice-President of the Court.

Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)


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