June 13, 2024
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Joe Osei-Owusu makes case for more Supreme Court Judges relative to number of cases adjudicated

The Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has suggested that in order to adequately decide on the number of judges required at the Supreme Court, the number of cases it oversees must be considered.

According to him, during the framing of the 1992 constitution, the country’s population was small, and therefore, the maximum number of judges to be appointed to the apex court was 15.

However, since the population has doubled, he believes the number of cases the court arbitrates must be considered in finding a common ground to resolve recent debates.

“The truth of the matter is that 30 years ago, what was the population of the country and what is the population today? The number of cases that are going to the court and then rising to the Supreme Court. Let’s look at the statistics. Can we continue to hold the number at this same level?

“These are matters that are evolving and we should be looking at the number of cases to determine how many judges,” he said on Joy FM’s Newsnight on December 20, 2023.

He was responding to the assertion by the Minority in Parliament that the bench at the Supreme Court was full, and there was no need for more justices.

Mr Osei-Owusu explained that many of the concerns raised about the Supreme Court judges were at variance with the reality on the ground.

Additionally, he said the constant comparison of the country’s judicial system to that of the United States stemmed from inadequate knowledge about the system practiced in that country.

He clarified that in Ghana, the Supreme Court cannot choose which case it would arbitrate; however, in the US their Apex Court decides which cases to handle.

He added that each state in the United States also has its own Supreme Court.

Early on Wednesday, December 20, Supreme Court justice nominee, Justice Henry Anthony Kwofie disagreed with concerns that the Apex Court is packed.

According to him, the volume of work at the Supreme Court requires more hands to reduce the burden on the current justices.

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