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Majority defends CJ’s request for more Supreme Court justices

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The Majority in Parliament has come to the defence of the Chief Justice’s proposal to increase the number of Supreme Court judges to 20.

Chief Justice Gertrude Araba Torkornoo has presented five judges to President Akufo-Addo to be nominated to the Supreme Court, attributing this to a high volume of cases.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has criticised this move as unlawful, but Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin maintains that the proposal is within the legal boundaries.

Speaking to journalists in Parliament in Accra on Monday, the Majority Leader stated, “We’ve become aware that the chief justice has mooted a proposal to expand the supreme court to 20 judges for efficiency and effectiveness.

“Some people are saying that the Chief Justice does not have such a mandate to do so. We disagree and would say that per article 125 (4) of the constitution, there are some inherent powers provided for in this provision that allow the Chief Justice as a chief executive and head of the judiciary to make such proposals. Quote, ‘the chief justice shall subject to this constitution, be head of the judiciary, and shall be responsible for the administration and supervision of the judiciary’.”

“When somebody is in charge of the management of a body he is able to determine how to run the place efficiently, what would make the work of that institution be properly done, and to make proposals within the context of the law.

“The framers of our constitution in their wisdom gave us a minimum ceiling. What did they anticipate? The anticipation was that there could be a possibility in future to increase the number. That is why they did not provide for an upper ceiling… So if you read this and juxtapose it against the 125, 125, 4 that I earlier referred to, clearly you cannot argue that any increase in the number of judges at the Supreme Court above 10 is unconstitutional or that the chief justice is wrong in making such a suggestion or proposal.”

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