First of all, the Committee that drafted the CI.99 had nothing to do with the Executive or the Government in power since the drafting of CI 99 was purely a constitutional matter focused on the legal mandate of the Rules of Court Committee. (RCC)
2. Constitutionally, the RCC that drafted the C.I. 99 is chaired by the Chief Justice as stipulated under Article 157 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
3. That the RCC has 9 members including the Chief Justice, 6 persons nominated by the Judicial Council and 2 other lawyers nominated by the Ghana Bar Association.
4. The names of the RCC members who spearheaded the passage CI 99 are listed on the last page of the CI 99 and can be verified. For the benefit of readers, the names are:
i. The Hon. Mrs. Georgina wood – Chief Justice
ii. The Hon. Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong- AG and Minister of Justice
iii. The Hon. Mrs. Sophia O.A. Adinyira- Justice of the Supreme Court
iv. The Hon. Mr. S.E. Kanyoke- Justice of the Court of Appeal
v. The Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Ankumah- Justice of the High Court
vi. Ms. Joyce N.N. Oku- Ag. Editor, Council for Law Reporting
vii. Brig. Gen. Edward Fiawoo- Armed Forces, Burma Camp, Accra
viii. Vincent Kizito Beyou, Esq.- Ghana Bar Association
ix. MS. Mellisa Amarteifio- Ghana Bar Association.
5. The members of the RCC above were carefully selected in line with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to perform a duty. The executive arm of government had no role in the selection of the members of the RCC or the passage of CI 99.
6. Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong was nominated by the Judicial Council to serve on the RCC because of her expertise as a seasoned lawyer of many years of experience.
6. Also Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong , the Attorney General at the time, by convention, had to lay the CI in Parliament for it to be passed into law.
7. So Mrs. Marietta’ s name appeared on the CI 99 NOT as a government appointee but as a professional lawyer, and a member of the Judicial Council.
8. It is therefore disingenuous for any lawyer worth his or her sort or any person for that matter to argue that the NDC as a Party or the NDC Government enacted CI 99 and so the NDC should not argue against the misapplication or misinterpretation of the law, when it becomes necessary.
9. Indeed, CI 99 was passed during the NDC regime but the RCC is an independent body, outside the control of the Executive.
10. It must also be noted that CI 99 did not amend the whole of CI 16 but just a part of it. For example, the review process of the Supreme Court under Rules 54 to 60 of CI 16 was not amended. Any person who feels aggrieved by a decision of the Supreme Court can apply for a review notwithstanding the provisions of CI 99. In any case, Article 133(1) of the Constitution clearly states that ” 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 the Rules of Court”
11. Finally, let’s all keep in mind that the law is not a tool for enslavement but justice and where necessary the Supreme Court may exercise its discretion to ensure that justice is served. That is the essence of Rule 5 of CI 16.
Baba Jamal Esq.