Story: Kwadwo Owusu Aduom
President Akufo-Addo has officially informed Parliament of his decision to appoint Justice Gertrude Torkonoo as Chief Justice.
In a letter to Parliament, President Akufo-Addo called for her speedy approval.
The 1st Deputy Speaker who read the letter referred the nomination to the Appointments Committee for vetting.
President Akufo-Addo in an earlier letter to the Council of State said her appointment was to avoid any vacuum that would occur following the retirement of the current Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah on May 24.
“Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah is due to retire from the bench on May 24, 2023, his seventieth birthday. In order to avoid a vacuum and ensure that a new Chief Justice is immediately in office after his retirement.
“I have decided to begin the process of appointment now. Article 144 (1) of the constitution, which governs the appointment of a Chief Justice, requires that, I, first consult with the council of state before seeking the approval Parliament.
“Consequently, I am nominating Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice. I hereby enclose a copy of her curriculum vitae for your attention,” excerpts of the letter said.
Justice Mrs Torkornoo per this nomination, will be vetted by Parliament and approve her nomination or otherwise.
She will become the third female Chief Justice in the history of Ghana after Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.
Gertrude Torkornoo hails from Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana.
She was born on 11 September 1962 in Cape Coast.
She attended Wesley Girls’ High School where she obtained her ordinary level certificate and Achimota School for her advanced level certificate.
She is an alumni of the University of Ghana and graduated from the Ghana School of Law in 1986.
In 2001 she obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law and Organization from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
In 2011, she graduated from the Golden Gate University, USA with an LLM in Intellectual Property Law.
Prior to joining Fugar & Co., a law firm in Accra as an associate, Justice Torkornoo worked as a volunteer at the FIDA Legal Aid Service and did an internship with Nabarro Nathanson in London.
She returned to the firm (Fugar & Co.) in 1994 to become a director.
In January 1997, she co-founded Sozo Law Consult where she worked as Managing Partner until 14 May 2004 when she was appointed a Justice of the High Court of Ghana.
She worked as a High Court judge until October 2012 when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Justice Torkornoo was nominated to the Supreme Court of Ghana in November 2019.
She was sworn into office on 17 December 2019.
Justice Torkornoo has held several leadership roles in the judicial service.
In her work as chair of E-Justice Committee, she has led the planning of automation of all levels of courts, procurement and incorporation of the use of electronic resources and software in the work of the Judicial Service.
She has also served as the Supervising Judge of commercial courts since 2013 where she has set the agenda for and chaired the meetings and programs of the Users Committee of the Commercial Courts.