Lawyer advocates for rotational system in CJ appointment

Sophia-Akufo.jpg

A private legal practitioner Yaw Oppong has advocated for a change in the process of selecting Chief Justices that removes the ethnic and political undertones.

The lecturer with the Central University College wants the post rotated among the Supreme Court judges over a five-year tenure as it pertains in US state of Georgia.

A rotation system could deepen the independence of the judiciary, he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday.

The suggestion follows President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s appointment of Supreme Court judge, Justice Sophia Akuffo as the country’s next Chief Justice.

The current Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood’s tenure as the head of the judiciary comes to an end on June 8, 2017 and the President is enjoined by Article 144(1) of the 1992 Constitution to appoint a successor. This, according to the Constitution has to be done in consultation with the Council of State and approval by Parliament.

Supreme Court judges, Justices Jones Dotse and Anin Yeboah were tipped for the CJ job and persons who advocated for the two wove into their defense ethnic and political considerations.

Some analysts who moved for Justice Dotse argued because the President is from the Akan ethnic group, the Vice President from the North and Speaker of Parliament a Ga, the CJ has to come from the Ewe ethnic group. This, they believe will help to balance the ethnic scale.

But Mr Oppong said such analyses are divisive and inappropriate considering all the Justices of the Supreme Court qualifies for the position.

“When we do selective analysis, we create the wrong impression,” he said, adding a change of the selection process will cure the system of divisive discussions.

Explaining the rotational system, the law lecturer said the first most senior at the Supreme Court should be made to occupy the CJ position and handover to the next Justice after five years.

“This system will make the appointment of CJ non-political…and enhance the independence of the judiciary.”

“When we do selective analysis, we create the wrong impression,” he said, adding a change of the selection process will cure the system of divisive discussions.

Explaining the rotational system, the law lecturer said the first most senior at the Supreme Court should be made to occupy the CJ position and handover to the next Justice after five years.

“This system will make the appointment of CJ non-political…and enhance the independence of the judiciary.”

 

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