Too many SC Justices disturb efficiency in cases mgt – CDD

The Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has expressed dissenting views on the position taken by the former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo and her successor Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah on calls for the number of Justices of the Supreme Court (SC) to be capped. 

It explained that too many Justices on the Supreme Court was a source of inefficiency in the management and disposition of cases.

“There is no evidence to show the court has become more efficient and effective as the number of Justices appointed unto it has grown and to the contrary, complaints about workload on the court have grown louder as the size of the court has grown,” the centre noted.

Professor Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director ofCDD-Ghana, was reacting to views shared by former Chief Justice Akuffo and her predecessor Justice Anin-Yeboah oncalls to cap the number of justices appointed to the Supreme Court at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) stakeholder engagement on constitutional review in Accra.

Ms Akuffo’s view on the call was, capping number opens door to the Court, leads to unnecessary case loads and slows down pace of cases, making it difficult to cap number of judges at the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah also indicated his position on theissue of capping the number of judges at the Supreme Court and some people may not know the nature of jurisdiction of the court, which was cause for worry.

Prof. Kwasi Prempeh pointed out that just as a person with distant deadline would take as much time as they had on their hands to do the same work they could complete on tight deadline with number of Justices on the Court.

“More judges on the Supreme Court will not necessarily make it more efficient and effective if the case for a court of unlimited size is predicated on the wide scope of the court’s jurisdiction to propose the court’s jurisdiction be restricted and not to insist size of the court not be capped.

“Are proponents of no-cap court trying to suggest size of the court must continue to grow indefinitely? Have they weighed the presumed benefit of no-cap court against risk to judicial independence and public confidence in the court that comes from perceived court-packing associated with president appointing more Justices to the Court?” Prof. Prempeh quizzed.

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