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CHAPTER 011
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REBUPLIC OF GHANA 1992

THE JUDICIARY

General

125

(1) Justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary which shall be independent and subject only to this Constitution.

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(2) Citizens may exercise popular participation in the administration of justice through the institutions of public and customary tribunals and the jury and assessor systems.

(3) The judicial power of Ghana shall be vested in the Judiciary, accordingly, neither the President nor Parliament nor any organ or agency of the President or Parliament shall have or be given final judicial power.

(4) The Chief Justice shall, subject to this Constitution, be the Head of the Judiciary and shall be responsible for the administration and supervision of the Judiciary.

(5) The Judiciary shall have jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, including matters relating to this Constitution, and such other jurisdiction as Parliament may, by law, confer on it.

126

(1) The Judiciary shall consist of -

(a) the Superior Courts of Judicature comprising -

(i) the Supreme Court;

(ii) the Court of Appeal; and

(iii) the High Court and Regional Tribunals.

(b) such lower courts or tribunals as Parliament may by law establish.

(2) The Superior Courts shall be superior courts of record and shall have the power to commit for contempt to themselves and all such powers as were vested in a court of record immediately before the coming into force of this constitution.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution or as may otherwise be ordered by a court in the interest of public morality, public safety or public order, the proceedings of every court shall be held in public.

(4) In the exercise of the judicial power conferred on the Judiciary by this Constitution or any other law, the Superior Courts may, in relation to any matter within their jurisdiction, issue such orders and directions as may be necessary to ensure the enforcement of any judgement, decree or order of those courts.

127

(1) In the exercise of the judicial power of Ghana, the Judiciary, in both its judicial and administrative functions, including financial administration, is subject only to this Constitution and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.

(3) A Justice of a Superior Court, or any person exercising judicial power, shall not be liable to any action or suit for any act or omission by him in the exercise of the judicial power.

(4) The administrative expenses of the judiciary, including all salaries, allowances, gratities and pensions payable to our in respect of, persons serving in the judiciary, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

 (5) The salary, allowances, privileges and rights in respect of leave of absence, gratuity, pension and other conditions of service of a Justice of the superior court or any judicial officer or other person exercising judicial power, shall not be varied to his disadvantage. (6) Funds voted by parliament, or charged on the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution for the Judiciary, shall be released to the Judiciary, in quarterly instalments. (7) For the purposes of clause (1) of this article, "financial administration" includes the operation of banking facilities by the Judiciary without the interference of any person or authority, other than for the purposes of audit by the Auditor-General, of the funds voted by Parliament or charged on the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or any other law, for the purposes of defraying the expenses of the Judiciary inrespect of which the funds were voted or charged. 

The Supreme Court

128

(1) The Supreme court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court.

(2) The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted for its work by not less than five Supreme Court Justices except as otherwise provided in article 133 of this Constitution.

(3) The Chief Justice shall preside at sittings of the Supreme Court and in his absence, the most senior of the Justices of the Supreme Court, as constituted, shall preside.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court unless he is of high moral character and proven integrity and is of not less than fifteen years' standing as a lawyer.

129

(1) The Supreme Court shall be the final court of appeal and shall have such appellate and other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or by any other law.

(2) The Supreme Court shall not be bound to follow the decisions of any other court.

(3) The Supreme Court may, while treating its own previous decisions as normally binding, depart from a previous decision when it appears to it right to do so; and all other courts shall be bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court on questions of law.

(4) For the purposes of hearing and determining a matter within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or the enforcement of a judgement or order made on any matter, and for the purposes of any other authority, expressly or by necessary implication given to the Supreme Court by this Constitution or any other law, the Supreme Court shall have all the powers, authority and Jurisdiction vested in any court established by this Constitution or any other law.

130

(1) Subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court in the enforcement of the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms as provided in article 33 of this Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in -

(a) all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of this Constitution; and

(b) all matters arising as to whether an enactment was made in excess of the powers conferred on Parliament or any other authority or person by law or under this Constitution.

(2) Where an issue that relates to a matter or question referred to in clause (1) of this article arises in any proceedings in a court other than the Supreme Court, that court shall stay the proceedings and refer the question of law involved to the Supreme Court for determination; and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court.

131

(1) An appeal shall lie from a judgement of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court-

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(a) as of right in a civil or criminal cause or matter in respect of which an appeal has been brought to the Court of Appeal from a judgment of the High Court or a Regional Tribunal in the exercise of its original jurisdiction; or

(b) with the leave of the Court of Appeal, in any other cause or matter, where the case was commenced in a court lower than the High Court or a Regional Tribunal and where the Court of Appeal is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law or is in the public interest.

(2) Notwithstanding clause (1) of this article, the Supreme Court may entertain application for special leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, and may grant leave accordingly.

(3) The Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, to the exclusion of the Court of Appeal, to determine matters relating to the conviction or otherwise of a person for high treason or treason by the High Court.

(4) An appeal from a decision of the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs shall lie to the Supreme Court with the leave of that Judicial Committee or the Supreme Court.

132

The Supreme Court shall have supervisory jurisdiction over all courts and over any adjudicating authority and may, in the exercise of that supervisory jurisdiction, issue orders and directions for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of its supervisory power.

133

(1) The Supreme Court may review any decision made or given by it on such grounds and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by rules of court.

(2) The Supreme Court, when reviewing its decisions under this article, shall be constituted by not less than seven Justices of the Supreme Court.

134

A single Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise power vested in the Supreme Court not involving the decision of the cause or matter before the Supreme Court, except that -

(a) in criminal matters, where that Justice refuses or grants an application in the exercise of any such power, a person affected by it is entitled to have the application determined by the Supreme Court constituted by three Justices of the Supreme Court and

(b) in civil matters, any order, direction or decision made or given under this article may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court constituted by three Justices of the Supreme Court.

135

(1) The Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether an official document shall not be produced in court because its production or the disclosure of its contents will be prejudicial to the security of the State or will be injurious to the public interest.

(2) Where any issue referred to in clause (1) of this article arises as to the production or otherwise of an official document in any proceedings before any court, other than the Supreme Court, the proceedings in that other court shall be suspended while the Supreme Court examines the document and determines whether the document should be produced or not; and the Supreme Court shall make the appropriate order.

(3) The proceedings of the Supreme Court as to whether an official document may be produced shall be held in camera.

Court of Appeal
136

(1) The Court of Appeal shall consist of -

(a) the Chief Justice;

 (b) subject to clauses (2) and (3) of this article, not less than ten Justices of the Court of Appeal; and 

(c) such other Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature as the Chief Justice may, for the determination of a particular cause or matter by writing signed by him, request to sit in the Court of Appeal for any specified period.

(2) The Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted by any three of the Justices referred to in clause (1) of this article and when so constituted, the most senior of the justices shall precide.

(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Court of Appeal unless he is of high moral character and proven integrity and is of not less than twelve years' standing as a lawyer.

(4) The Chief Justice may create such divisions of the Court of Appeal as he considers necessary to sit in such places as he may determine.

(5) Subject to clause (3) of article 129 of this Constitution, the Court of Appeal shall be bound by its own previous decisions; and all courts lower than the Court of Appeal shall follow the decisions of the Court of Appeal on questions of law.

137

(1) The Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction throughout Ghana to hear and determine, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, appeals from a judgement, decree or order of the High Court and Regional Tribunals and such other appellate jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or any other law.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, an appeal shall lie as of right from a judgement, decree or order of the High Court and a Regional Tribunal to the Court of Appeal.

 (3) For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or the enforcement of a judgment or order made on any appeal, and, for the purposes of any other authority expressly or by necessary implication given to the Court of Appeal by this Constitution or any other law, the Court of Appeal shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the court from which the appeal is brought.138

A single Justice of the Court of Appeal may exercise a power vested in the Court of Appeal not involving the decision of a cause or matter before the Court of Appeal, except that -

(a) in criminal matters, where that Justice refuses or grants an application in the exercise of any such power conferred by this article, may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Court of Appeal as duly constituted.

The High Court

139

(1) The High Court shall consist of -

(a) the Chief Justice

(b) not less than twenty Justices of the High Court; and

(c) such other Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature as the Chief Justice may, by writing signed by him, request to sit as High Court Justice for any period.

(2) The High Court shall be constituted -

(a) by a single Justice of the Court; or

(b) by a single Justice of the Court and jury; or

(c) by a single Justice of the Court with assessors; or

(d) by three Justices of the Court for the trial of the offence of high treason or treason as required by article 19 of this Constitution.

(3) There shall be in the High Court such divisions consisting of such number of Justice respectively as the Chief Justice may determine.

(4) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Justice of the High Court unless he is a person of high moral character and proven integrity and is of at least ten years' standing as a lawyer.

140

(1) The High Court shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, have jurisdiction in all matters and in particular, in civil and criminal matters and such original, appellate and other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or any other law.

(2) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms guaranteed by this Constitution.

(3) The High Court shall have no power, in a trial for the offence of high treason or treason, to convict any person for an offence other than treason or treason.

(4) A Justice of the High Court may, in accordance with rules of court, exercise in court or in chambers, all or any of the jurisdiction vested in the High Court by this Constitution or any other law.

(5) For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or the enforcement of a judgment or order made on any appeal, and for the purposes of any other authority, expressly or by necessary implication given to the High Court by this Constitution or any other law, the High Court shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the Court from which the appeal is brought.

141

The High Court shall have supervisory jurisdiction over all lower courts and any lower adjudicating authority; and may, in the exercise of that jurisdiction, issue orders and directions for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of its supervisory powers

Regional Tribunals

142

(1) There shall be established in each region of Ghana such Regional Tribunals as the chief Justice may determine.

(2) A Regional Tribunal shall consist of -

(a) the Chief Justice;

(b) one Chairman; and

(c) such members who may or may not be lawyers as shall designated by the Chief Justice to sit as panel members of a Regional Tribunal and for such period as shall be specified in writing by the Chief Justice.

(3) A Region Tribunal shall be duly constituted by a panel consisting of the Chairman and not less than two other panel members.

(4) A person shall not be appointed to be a Chairman of a Regional Tribunal unless he is qualified to be appointed a Justice of the High Court.

(5) A panel member of a Regional Tribunal shall be a person of high moral character and proven integrity.

143

(1) A Regional Tribunal shall have jurisdiction to try such offences against the State and the public interest as Parliament may, by law, prescribe.

(2) A Regional Tribunal shall have such appellate jurisdiction relating to the matters described in clause (1) of this article, as may be prescribed by law.

(3) For the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal within its jurisdiction and the amendment, execution or enforcement of a judgment or order on any appeal, and for the purposes of any other authority expressly or by necessary implication given to it by this Constitution or any other law, a Regional Tribunal shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested in the tribunal from which the appeal is brought.

Appointment, retirement and removal of Justices of Superior Courts and chairmen and other members of Regional Tribunals.

JUDICIAL SERVICE OF GHANA

P.O. Box GP 119, Accra

Tel: (+233) 0302-663951, 663954, 666671

LAW COURT COMPLEX ACCRA

Tel: (+233) 0302-748100, 748101, 748102

 

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