Evans Mawunyo Tsikata
Evans Mawunyo Tsikata

Unveiling a potential constitutional crisis: High Court ruling puts supremacy in question

The High Court's dismissal of the application seeking to compel President Akufo-Addo to accept the transmission of the anti-LGBTQ bill authorized by Parliament is a decision that deserves a vigorous appeal. 


This ruling has triggered a constitutional crisis that threatens our democracy. I will examine few legal grounds for disagreement with the ruling and argue that the decision violates the principles of judicial review, separation of powers, and the rule of law, and must be appealed to uphold the supremacy of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The court erred in its interpretation of Article 106(1) and (7), which empowers the President to assent or refuse to assent to a bill within seven days. The Constitution does not grant the President the discretion to indefinitely delay or refuse to accept a bill transmitted by Parliament.

The ruling failed to consider the fundamental principle of separation of powers, which ensures checks and balances among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. By allowing the President to unilaterally delay or reject a bill, the court has compromised Parliament's legislative authority.

The court's decision undermines the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution. By permitting the President to disregard Parliament's actions, the court has created a dangerous precedent that compromises the integrity of the constitutional order.

The court's ruling focused on the pending applications at the Supreme Court, rather than addressing the substantive issues raised in the application. This approach avoided engaging with the legal arguments and the constitutional implications of the President's actions.

The court's decision undermines the principle of judicial review, which empowers the judiciary to scrutinize executive actions for constitutionality and legality. By dismissing the application, the court has abdicated its responsibility to ensure that the President's actions align with the Constitution.

The ruling contradicts previous decisions that have established the judiciary's power to review executive actions and ensure compliance with the Constitution. See JH Mensah v AG, NPP v AG (The 31st December Case).

The court's decision has far-reaching implications for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and other marginalized groups. By allowing the President to delay or reject a bill that criminalizes their existence, the court has compromised their fundamental human rights and dignity.

In conclusion, the High Court's ruling is a legally flawed decision that requires a robust appeal. The High Court has fall short in addressing crucial legal matters. The appeal should focus on the misinterpretation of Article 106, the doctrine of separation of powers, the rule of law, and the supremacy of the Constitution, as well as the court's failure to address the merits of the application and protect the rights of marginalized groups.

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