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Chief Justice nominee justifies unanimous Supreme Court judgements

Chief Justice nominee, Gertrude Torkornoo, has explained that Supreme Court judges coming to a unanimous decision on cases brought before them as seen in many cases, does not in anyway suggest bias or a miscarriage of justice.

Speaking in Parliament during her vetting on Friday, she said that “When you encounter unanimous decision, it tells you that the law is totally on the side of the position taken by the court, that every member of the court in fidelity to their judicial oath cannot take a different position, it tells you that that is what the law is,” Justice Torkornoo said.

There have been raging criticisms from some Ghanaians particularly opposition party elements against the judiciary, with a growing perception that the institution is a ‘Unanimous FC’; a coined term which connotes the collectiveness of thoughts in recent rulings of the apex Court.

Following their unanimous decision on some cases in the past year, the Supreme Court came under heavy criticism with some citizens accusing them of bias.

Also, in 2022, Attorney-General Godfred Dame called out former President John Mahama after he criticised the judiciary and claimed that it lacks what it takes to redeem its sunken image.

However, the Chief Justice nominee noted that the apex court’s unanimous decisions are never based on any bias or favoritism but solely on the law.

“The only response is to learn from what the law says, so it is not a matter of bias, it is a matter of the legal position.”

She also dismissed the popular opinion that most judges do the bidding of the authority that appointed them.

According to her, their workload as judges is very much unrelated to the appointing authority and hence has little influence on their act of service.

Justice Torkornoo said that “I think if there’s such a perception, it is a wrong perception, because the load of our work with respect to the ordinary Ghanaian hardly has anything to do with appointing authorities. On a daily basis, we are adjudicating tens and hundreds of cases involving the “ordinary joe”,” she said.

She emphasised that judges give decisions independently.

Source: Ghana News

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