Profile of newly nominated Chief Justice – Ms Sophia Akuffo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has nominated Justice Ms Sophia Akuffo as the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana.
Justice Ms Akuffo will take over from current Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood who retires on June 8, 2017, if successfully approved by Parliament.
Article 144 (1) of the 1992 Constitution provides that “the Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President, acting in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament”.
The constitutional process will be concluded after Parliament’s Appointments Committee is done with the vetting of the nominee for subsequent approval by the plenary session.
President Akufo-Addo will then swear her in after Parliament sends its report about the approval of the nominee.
Justice Sophia Akuffo is one of the longest serving Supreme Court judges in the country and her approval by Parliament will make her the 13th person to occupy the enviable position.
Justice Akuffo was appointed to the country’s apex court 22 years ago by former President Jerry John Rawlings on November 30, 1992.
The nominee has been one of the leading voices in the country on issues of human right, rule of law and child’s rights.
She had served on the continent’s judicial bodies such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where she ended up as its President.
Ms Justice Akuffo has served as a justice of the Supreme Court for the past two decades.
She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In January 2006, she was elected as one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was re-elected until 2014 when she served as the Vice-President.
She is the immediate past President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
She is on the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council and has held membership of several organisations, including the Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.
Her publications include The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – The Ghanaian Experience, presented to the African Judicial Network Ghana (2002).
Ms Justice Akuffo is the second most senior judge on the highest court of the land after Mr Justice William Atuguba, who is billed to retire next year.
She holds a master’s degree in Law (LLM) from the University of Harvard in the United States of America (USA), and has been a justice of the Supreme Court since 1995.
The office of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana will become vacant with effect from June 9, 2017, when Mrs Justice Wood leaves office after 40 years of service to the nation.