Emile Short launches memoir
A BOOK that recounts the life of a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Francis Short, was on Thursday launched in Accra.
The 256-page book does not only open the window to the formative stages of the man who is often called to national duty, but also provides a compendium of lessons for young lawyers to have a taste of what it looked like to practice law in the then Gold Coast.
Also commemorated was the 80th birthday of the author which fell on Monday, February 6, 2023, as well as 30 years since he became the Commissioner of CHRAJ.
Titled In the Eye of the Storm, the instructive book, which also contains memorable pictures, has 17 chapters which focus on the primary stages of the author’s family, his life as a young boy, educational background, legal practice and his time at CHRAJ, including threats he received while in office.
The event was attended by the current Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal; a Justice of the Supreme Court, Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu; the Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sir Sam Jonah, who was the Special Guest of Honour, among other dignitaries.
Justice Prof. Mensa-Bonsu said it was important for people to tell their own stories and described Justice Short as a calm personality who could not be pushed around.
“A lot of people go into public service at a certain level in this country.
You really need to have courage to do the work that you have accepted to do, so when somebody does it and has survived this far, we can only applaud him,” she said.
Justice Prof. Mensa-Bonsu also said that the memoir was worth the read as it gave different sides of the author which were not known to the public, including harassments and threats he received during his time as the Commissioner of CHRAJ.
The Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Prof. Ernest Kofi Abotsi, who reviewed the book, describe it as a “powerful account of the life of a man whose local and international standing has generally beclouded a rich and fulfilling life history immersed in family, friends, community and faith”.
He said the fluent narrative approach, adopted by the author, tinged with humour and transitional pauses and asides, presented a profound excursion into his life, marked by detailed narrative of his experiences growing up in the country and abroad, including his education, love life and professional development.
“These will afford any reader a rare insight into the life of one of Africa's, and certainly Ghana's greatest sons.
“While many will find the chronology of his life's story easy to identify with, his meticulous narration is truly a testament to the memoir’s overall richness and the depth of the author's encounters and world views”, Prof. Abotsi added.
Justice Emile thanked God for seeing him through his work as a legal practitioner, as well as his family and people who had supported him over the years.
“This is a blessing and I need to give thanks to God for bringing me this far.
I did not get here by my own ingenuity and wisdom, but by the sheer grace of God.
“I want to thank each and every one of you who have come to help me celebrate this auspicious, momentous occasion,” he added.
The current leadership of CHRAJ bought the book for GH¢10,000 after which it was auctioned to the public.