Chief Justice of Ghana
The chief justice of Ghana is the highest-ranking judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana. The chief justice is also the head of the Judiciary of Ghana and is responsible for its administration and supervision. In order of state precedence, the chief justice is the fourth highest official in Ghana.
The Supreme Court Ordinance of 1876 ended the 10-year absence of a Supreme Court, establishing a Supreme Court of Judicature for the Gold Coast Colony. The court consisted of the chief justice and not more than four puisne judges. This led to the appointment of the first chief justice, Sir David Patrick Chalmers by the British colonial authorities in 1876. The nature of the office of chief justice evolved with the years. The 1954 Gold Coast constitution provided for the chief justice to be appointed on the advice of the prime minister while other judges and judicial officers were appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission. Under the 1957 Ghana constitution, on the attainment of independence, the chief justice and all superior justices were appointed on the advice of the prime minister as the Judicial Service Commission was abolished. Sir Kobina Arku Korsah became the first Ghanaian chief justice. Under the 1969 constitution, the chief justice was appointed by the president acting in consultation with the Council of State. The office has not changed much since the 1979 constitution though the court system underwent a lot of changes under various military governments between 1972 and 1993.
Appointment and office tenureEdit
The chief justice is appointed by the president of Ghana in consultation with the Council of State of Ghana and with the approval of the Parliament of Ghana. A person qualified to be the chief justice of Ghana must be of a high moral character and have proven integrity,. S/he must have been a lawyer for at least fifteen years to have been eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court in the first place. Where the office of the chief justice is vacant or the chief justice is incapacitated and unable to carry out his duties, the most senior of the justices of the Supreme Court is expected to act in his place until he is able to resume or a new substantive chief justice is appointed by the president. The chief justice and any other justice of the superior courts may voluntarily retire on reaching the age of 60 years or stay on till the compulsory retiring age of 70 years.
Supreme Court and other superior courtsEdit
The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice and at least nine other judges. The chief justice is expected to preside at all sittings of the Supreme Court whenever he or she is present. The chief justice oversees the administration of the Court of Appeal of which he or she is the most senior member. He or she is also a member and administrator of the High Court and the Regional Tribunals.
The chief justice is the chairman of the Judicial Council of Ghana. The council is expected to propose judicial reforms to the Ghana government to help improve the level of administration of justice and efficiency in the Judiciary. It is also expected to be a forum to enhance the administration of justice in Ghana.
- Administer the presidential oath and the vice presidential oaths before parliament prior to both assuming their offices.
- Administer the oath of allegiance and the judicial oathto all justices of the superior courts or designate someone to act in his stead.
- Chairman of the Rules of Court Committee which makes rules regulating the practice and procedure of all courts in Ghana.
- To set up a tribunal to resolve grievances against the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
- Convene and chair a tribunal to oversee proceedings relating to the removal of the president of Ghana from office.
- Appoint judicial officers on the advice of the Judicial Council and subject to the approval of the president.
Current chief justiceEdit
The current chief justice is Kwasi Anin-Yeboah. He succeeded Sophia Akuffo as the first male chief justice of Ghana in twelve years. Anin-Yeboah was sworn in as Chief Justice by President Akufo-Addo on 7 January 2020.
Early chief justices (and judicial assessors)Edit
Chief justices of the Supreme CourtEdit
Chief justices of the Supreme Court of the Gold CoastEdit
|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|
|Sir Joseph Turner Hutchinson||1889 - 1895||Gold Coast|
|Francis Smith (acting)||1895||Gold Coast|
|Sir William Brandford Griffith||1895 - 1911||Gold Coast|
|Sir 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 Harragin||1943 - 1947||Gold Coast|
|Sir Mark Wilson||1948 - 1956||Gold Coast|
|Sir Kobina Arku Korsah||1956 - 5 March 1957||Gold Coast|
Chief justices of GhanaEdit
|Chief Justice||Time frame||Period|
|Sir Kobina Arku Korsah||6 March 1957 - 1963||Ghana - 1st Republic|
|J. Sarkodee-Addo||1964 - 1966|
|Edward Akufo-Addo||1966 - 1969||military rule (1966-1969)|
|1969 - 1970||2nd Republic|
|Edmund Alexander Lanquaye Bannerman||1970 -1972|
|Samuel Azu Crabbe||1973 - 1977||military rule|
|Fred Kwasi Apaloo||1977 - 1986||military rule (1977-1979)|
|3rd Republic (24 September 1979 - 31 December 1981)|
|[a]military rule (31 December 1981 – 1986)|
|E. N. P. Sowah||1986 - 1990||military rule|
|Philip Edward Archer||1991 - 1993||military rule (1991-1993)|
|1993 - 1995||4th Republic|
|Isaac Kobina Abban||1995 - 21 April 2001|
|Edward Kwame Wiredu||2001 - 2003|
|George Kingsley Acquah||4 July 2003 - 25 March 2007|
|Georgina Theodora Wood|| 15 June 2007 - 8 June 2017|
|Sophia Akuffo||19 June 2017 – 20 December 2019|
|Kwasi Anin-Yeboah||7 January 2020 – to date|
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 125(4).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 57 (2).
- "Historical Development of the Courts before Independence". Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Historical Development of the Courts before Independence". Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Colonial Rule in Ghana". Ghana.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Historical Development of the Courts after Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Historical Development of the Courts After Independence". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 144 (1).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 128 (4).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 144 (6).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 145 (1).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 145 (2)(a).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 128 (1) and (3).
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 136.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 139.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 142.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 153.
- "Second Schedule". 1992 Constitution of Ghana. Ghana Review International. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 156.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 157.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 48 (1)
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 69.
- 1992 Constitution of Ghana Article 148.
- "Akufo Addo swears in Anin Yeboah as new CJ today". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- sarbah, John. Fanti National Constitution. p. 163.
- Zimmermann, Reinhard. Southern Cross: Civil Law and Common Law in South Africa. p. 110.
- "General News, 1877". thetablet. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
- "List of Chief Justices". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-02-13. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- "New Chief Justice for the Republic of Ghana". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
- The Law Journal. The Law Journal. 22-1887. London: F.E. Streeten. 1888-01-28. p. 248.
Mr. Francis Smith, barrister, has been appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of the Gold Coast Colony, in succession to Mr. Justice Macleod, who has been appointed Chief Justice of the Colony.
- "Colonial Service Gossip". The Colonies and India. London, England. 1895-03-30. p. 11. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
Sir Joseph T. Hutchinson, late Chief Justice of the Gold Coast, has, after a brief holiday, left England to assume the duties of his new office as Chief Justice of Grenada. He is a stranger to the West Indies, but, if previous success counts for anything at all, he is sure of a brilliant career in the service. At present Sir Joseph Hutchinson is proceeding to Grenada on a less salary than that which he received on the Gold Coast, but the advantage of climate no doubt fully compensates him for the small loss of salary.
- "Colonial Service Gossip". The Colonies and India. London. 1895-04-27. p. 12. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
The appointment of Chief Justice of the Gold Coast Colony continues to occupy the attention of many officials in search of promotion. It was at one time thought that probably the important office would be given to Mr. Justice Francis Smith, the Senior Puisne Judge of the Gold Coast, who for the past eight years has held that office, previous to which he was Chief Magistrate of the Gambia for eight years. Other names have been mentioned as probable candidates, but it is very unlikely that Sir Joseph Hutchinson's successor will be selected from the present West Coast legal officials.
- "Colonial Service Gossip". The Colonies and India. London. 1895-07-06. p. 10. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
Mr. Francis Smith, who is at present acting as Chief Justice of the Gold Coast, pending the arrival of Mr. W. Brandford Griffith, is a native of West Africa, and has held the appointment of a Puisne Judge of the Colony for the past eight years.
- "President Nkrumah Explains Government Action in Recent Treason Trial". Ghana News. 2 (1): 2. 6 January 1964. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Ghana Gets A New Chief Justice". Ghana News. Washington DC: Embassy of Ghana. 2 (4): 11. April 1964. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "History - Summary". Official Website. Judicial Service of Ghana. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-06-01.
- "Kpegah urges new Chief Justice to unite judges". General News of Friday, 15 June 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
- "Full list of Chief Justices in Ghana since 1957". Ghanaweb. Ghanaweb. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- List of Judges of the Superior Court of Judicature
- Chapter 11 of the 1992 Ghana constitution:The Judiciary
|Order of precedence|
Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana
|Chief Justice of Ghana|