Torkornoo takes office as new Chief Justice
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has sworn into office Justice Gertrude Araba Essaba Sackey Torkornoo as the new Chief Justice of Ghana.
Justice Torkornoo, 60 years, succeeds Justice Kwesi Anin Yeboah who retired last May. She is the 15th Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana.
She was nominated by the President in April and approved by Parliament on June 7, 2023, after a rigorous vetting process.
Justice Torkornoo is the eighth individual to occupy the office under the Fourth Republican dispensation, and the third female to assume that position after Justice Georgina Theodora Woode and Justice Sophia Akuffo.
She has been a member of the Judiciary for the past 19 years and a Supreme Court Judge for the last four years.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra on Monday, the President administered the Oaths of Allegiance and Secrecy and the Judicial Oath to Justice Torkornoo and congratulated her on her appointment.
He said his choice of Justice Torkornoo was not a difficult one to make in view of her level of qualification and the number of years served with distinction and her considerable experience on the bench of the superior court of adjudicature.
Confident that Justice Torkornoo would be an effective leader of the Judiciary, President Akufo-Addo urged her to guard jealously its independence, bring honour to the Judiciary and the country, and be a worthy successor to her predecessor.
“I am expectant that her tenure as chief justice will also be marked by order, fairness, diligence, deep-seated respect for the rule of law and continuation of the modernisation of judicial functions and the expansion of infrastructure,” he said.
The President reminded the Chief Justice that it was essential for the development of Ghana, that the Judiciary commanded the respect of the population through the quality of justice delivery and the comportment and conduct of its judges.
He said it was crucial that “we have judges who are morally upright with intellectual integrity and a fuller understanding of the law.”
“The Judiciary has the heavy burden of being the bulwark for the defence of the liberties and rights of the people… a burden best executed when it enjoys their unalloyed respect,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo wished Chief Justice Torkornoo well in her endeavours and urged the entire judicial system to lend her the needed support to enable her to promote the rule of law.
“I urge your continued solidarity and cooperation with the new Chief Justice to promote the rule of law…that will be in line with the finest traditions of the Bench and the Bar and would help enhance the welfare of the people of Ghana,” he said.
The President commended former Chief Justice Anin Yeboah for expanding the frontiers of Judicial Independence as well as leading the biggest expansion of Court infrastructure across the country.
He conveyed his appreciation to Justices Jones Victor Mawulom Dotse and Paul Baffoe-Bonnie for holding the fort during the period of retirement of Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, and thanked Parliament for the expeditious and thorough way it vetted and approved the appointment of Justice Torkornoo for the high office.
Justice Torkornoo on her part thanked the President for the confidence reposed in her and pledged to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to perform her duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
She said she would ensure that Judges are accountable for their stewardship pursuant to the Constitution and the rules of the Court.
Chief Justice Torkornoo appealed for an increase in the budget of the Judiciary to enhance and fast-track the implementation of the digitization of Courts processes as well as the continuous expansion of Court infrastructure.
She gave the assurance that she would work to address the challenges in the judicial system, as well as the issues that confront legal education in the country.