I'll resurrect constitutional review process on capping number of Supreme Court justices – Mahama

John Dramani Mahama, the flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says if he is elected as president again, his administration will resurrect the constitutional review process on the capping the number of justices on the Supreme Court bench.


The 1992 Constitution only talks about a minimum of nine justices on the Supreme Court bench and the Chief Justice but it is silent on the upper limit.

Addressing a media encounter in Accra on Sunday night [July 7], former President Mahama said he will put it to Ghanaians to decide whether the number of justices should be capped at 15 number, or they should reduce or increase it.

Mr Mahama said he does not think that it should be the chief justice saying that we should increase and cap at 15.

He said this while disagreeing with Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo on a recommendation to the president to appoint five additional justices to the Supreme Court bench.

Former President Mahama said that approach by the Chief Justice was rare because it is the president who nominates based on the advice of the Judicial Council and then forwards the names to Parliament for approval or otherwise.

Mr Mahama said “I can’t understand why the Chief Justice will be the one recommending which judges to appoint. The constitution is clear that it is the president who appoints judges with the advice of the judicial council and so the initiative to appoint judges must come from the president and be submitted to the judicial council, he brings it back with advice and the president then forwards to Parliament, that is the procedure.

“It is very rare that this time the recommendation comes from the Chief Justice to the president. Even capping the number of judges, the constitutional review committee recommended that we cap Supreme Court judges at 15, so the issue for capping the Supreme Court judges is not for the chief justice to say.  We will resurrect the constitutional review process when I become president and when we do that we will put it to the Ghanaian people whether we should retain the 15, whether we should reduce it, or whether we should increase it.  I don’t think that it should be the chief justice saying that we should increase and cap at 15.

Attached below is a video from the event.

Read also: John Mahama's encounter with the media [PLAYBACK]


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