I’ll revive constitutional review process if re-elected – Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has stated that if he is re-elected in this year’s elections, his administration will reinvigorate the constitutional review process.

A key focus of this review, he mentioned, would involve addressing the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

During a media engagement in Accra on Sunday, Mr Mahama mentioned his intention to engage the public in deciding whether to maintain the current 15 justices, or to decrease or increase this number.

He emphasised that it should not be the responsibility of the Chief Justice to determine an increase in the number of justices and to cap it at 15.

These comments were made in response to Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo’s recent suggestion to the President to appoint five additional justices to the Supreme Court.

Mr Mahama highlighted that traditionally, it is the President who makes such recommendations based on the guidance of the Judicial Council, before submitting the names to Parliament for confirmation.

Mr Mahama said, he found it unusual for the Chief Justice to be the one recommending the nomination of judges to the apex court, emphasising the importance of adhering to established protocols in such processes.

He 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,” he said.

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