Sophia Akuffo Ghana’s second female Chief Justice

JUSTICE SOPHIA AKUFFO3

By SHE Leads Africa –Justice Sophia Akuffo, a Supreme Court judge, with decades of experience on the bench has been  confirmed as Ghana’s next Chief Justice. She becomes the 13th Chief Justice of the Republic, succeeding Chief Justice Theodora Georgina Wood who will be retiring on June 8, 2017 having made history as the first women to have held the position and the longest serving Chief Justice till date.

Madam Wood was the 12th Chief Justice of the country. The position is the fourth highest in Ghana in order of governance with the office of the President being the highest, followed by the office of the Vice President and office of the Speaker of Parliament.

Read: Chief Justice Georgina Wood blazes a trail

“I have known Justice Sophia Akuffo well, for over forty years,” says President Nana Akufo-Addo, at a news conference at the Flagstaff House Friday, adding….she was my first junior in practice…she impressed me considerably with her hard work, her capacity for detailed research, her independence of mind and spirit, her honesty and integrity, her deep-seated respect for the rule of law.”

 

Sophia Akuffo 2Confirming her appointment, the President said he considers Justice Akuffo as the best person to lead the judiciary at this time in the country’s history.

The President also praised the outgoing Chief Justice, describing her decade long service as extraordinary.

“I pay warm tribute to her distinguished service to our nation,” he said, and “wish her a well-earned retirement, even though her public service will not be over.” Mrs Wood has been appointed as a member of the Council of State awaits her.

Justice Akuffo is one of the longest serving Supreme Court judges in the country. She was  was appointed to the country’s apex court 22 years ago by then  President Jerry John Rawlings in November 1992.

A leading voice on issues of human right, rule of law and child’s rights, she has served on the continent’s judicial bodies including the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and became its President.

CJ Sophia AkuffoWith this enviable record, the President believes she would be a worthy successor to Chief Justice Wood and in asserting the independence of the Judiciary.

“I expect discipline, fairness, integrity and the continuing modernisation of judicial activities to be the hallmarks of her tenure as Chief Justice if she is so endorsed by the constitutional bodies,” said the President.

Article 144(1) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution empowers the President to appoint the Chief Justice in consultation with the Council of State.

Her nomination kicks starts the constitutional process required for the appointment of a Chief Justices. She will be vetted by  Parliament’s Appointments Committee and approval by the plenary session, after which the President will swear Ms. Akuffo into office — SophiaAkuffo-Leads-Africa.

Image credit:graphiconline.com

 

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