CJ justifies request for more Supreme Court judges: 'We hear 180+ cases monthly'

In a recent correspondence with the President, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo reiterated her call for an increase in the number of judges at the Supreme Court of Ghana (SCOG). Highlighting the critical need for this measure, she emphasised, “In view of the realities of the court’s workload and output and the need for the court to appropriately serve the justice needs of the nation.”

Jul 8, 2024 - 06:44
Jul 8, 2024 - 07:19
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CJ justifies request for more Supreme Court judges: 'We hear 180+ cases monthly'
Chief Justice (CJ) Gertrude Torkornoo

In a recent correspondence with the President, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo reiterated her call for an increase in the number of judges at the Supreme Court of Ghana (SCOG). Highlighting the critical need for this measure, she emphasised, “In view of the realities of the court’s workload and output and the need for the court to appropriately serve the justice needs of the nation.”

Chief Justice Torkornoo elaborated on the current operational conditions of the SCOG, which functions three days a week on alternating weeks to manage its heavy caseload. “Two days are used for panel sitting, and one day for the sitting of a single judge. The SCOG therefore sits 12 times a month. On any given day of sitting, the court deals with a minimum of 15 cases and so works on not fewer than 45 matters in a week or approximately 180 matters in a month,” she detailed.

She warned of the adverse consequences if the number of judges is not increased, citing potential delays in decision-making and the delivery of justice. The Chief Justice expressed concern over a scenario where Supreme Court justices might have to sit every week, participate in multiple panels, and triple their hearings, only to face the same backlog of cases as experienced in July 2021.

The letter underscores the pressing need for structural changes to ensure the effective functioning of the Supreme Court and to uphold the timely administration of justice for the nation.

The Chief Justice has been in the news for the past few days following a letter written by her to president Akufo-Addo recommending some judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court. The letter has sparked reactions from legal brains who argue that she acted illegally because it is only the Judicial Council which has the mandate to make such a recommendation to the President.

Read the full details of her justification letter here

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