Chief Justice-designate, Justice Sophia Akuffo, will Friday morning take the hot seat before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to justify why she should be approved as the head of Ghana’s judiciary.
Justice Sophia Akuffo, who is the second most senior of the Supreme Court judges, was nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to replace Justice Georgina Theodora Wood who retired as Chief Justice of Ghana on June 8, 2017.
Her nomination was in line with Article 144(1)(2) which require the selection of a Chief Justice to be done by the President in consultation with the Council of State but subjected to the approval of parliament.
Though her vetting was initially scheduled for June 19, the current vacuum created by the exit of Mrs Wood necessitated the process to be pushed to Friday, June 16, 2017.
At today’s vetting each of the 26 members of the Committee as well as the chairman and ranking members of the Constitution and Legal Affairs and Judicial committees will have the opportunity quiz Justice Akuffo at today’s vetting.
The vetting will focus on Justice Akuffo’s vision for the country’s judiciary as well as the excess of the judicial system and how she intends to fix them.
Members of the Committee will seek her opinion and actions she would take on recent developments in the country, particularly those on the judiciary including the issue of restrictions on lawyers to advertise their services, mob injustice, safety of judges and corruption among judicial staff.
Profile – Courtesy Graphic
Ms Justice Akuffo has served as a justice of the Supreme Court for the past two decades.
She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In January 2006, she was elected as one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was re-elected until 2014 when she served as the Vice-President. She is the immediate past President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
She is on the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council and has held membership of several organisations, including the Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.
Her publications include The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – The Ghanaian Experience, presented to the African Judicial Network Ghana (2002).