SPEECH FOR THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE CHAIRPERSON OF THE LAUNCH AND FIRST LECTURE OF THE ANNUAL LEGON LAW LECTURES ON 11TH OCTOBER, 2017

The Hon. Attorney-General and Minister for Justice,

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana,

Our esteemed Lecturer for today,

Hon. Judges and Magistrates,

Members of the Bar Association,

Provosts, Deans, Lecturers,

Invited Guests, the Media and Students -

It is an honour to be asked to chair a programme devoted to deep analysis of aspects of the Laws of Ghana. The development of knowledge is a shared responsibility; in the sphere of the law, it is the shared responsibility of the Bench, the Bar and academia. I believe that the Lecture Series launched today will provide the much needed opportunity for scholarly discourse on the Constitution and other laws of Ghana and also a continuous study of judicial decisions.

These lectures are intended to provide an opportunity for our eminent lawyers, academics and statesmen and women, to document their knowledge on aspects of the law for the benefit of posterity. We may therefore also see this exercise as an opportunity to secure records of the historical knowledge of the development of aspects of our law, in the case of today, the Constitution.

Since the coming into force of 1992 Constitution and its application over the years, several issues relating to the acceptable import of some of its provisions have come up. We are extremely privileged this evening to have with us an eminent lawyer, academic and international statesman to give us his insight on some of the contentious aspects of our Constitution. The speaker for this evening is in a very strategic position to provide the needed answers to some of the recurrent constitutional concerns because, as we all are aware, Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante was the Chairman of the Committee of Experts which formulated proposals for the 1992 Constitution. No other person could have been better placed to provide the historical insights into relevant aspects of the Constitution.

We are very anxious to hear Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante take us back to the proposal stages and explain to us what they had proposed and the extent to which their proposals have reflected in the Report of the Committee of Experts.

The issues to be covered are wide but very relevant to our deeper understanding of the Constitution. I am particularly keen to hear the discourse on issues relating to the structure of the Executive, Presidential Powers, the hybrid system, the Council of State, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Representation of the People, the winner-takes-all principle, Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Media Freedom, Local Government, Chieftaincy,  the Private Members Bills and Parliamentary approval of International Business Transactions.

The inter-face between the scholarly analysis of the law and its judicial application cannot be underestimated. When judicial decisions are subjected to academic scrutiny, the evolution of the law is generally enhanced. These lectures are therefore crucial for keeping our legal environment vibrant.

With these few words, I hereby launch the Annual Legon Law Lectures and the delivery of the first in the series.

 

 

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