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LAWYER SUES CHIEF JUSTICE, ATTORNEY GENERAL

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…Claims Writs or Lawsuits in Name of Chief Justice Are Unlawful, Unconstitutional

www.ghanareaders.com

A Kumasi-based lawyer has sued the Attorney-General and the Chief Justice of Ghana seeking a constitutional declaration that the practice where writs or lawsuits are taken in the name of the Chief Justice, are wrong, unconstitutional and unlawful.

Chief Justice Anin Yeboah

James Marshall Belieb, of H/No/ H12, Patasi Estates, Kumasi, is claiming a declaration from the Supreme Court

that the practice whereby the description “CHIEF JUSTICE” followed by the name of the occupant of the office of Chief Justice which appears on every writ of summons issued in Ghana is wrongful, unlawful, unconstitutional, inconsistent with and in contravention of the preamble, Articles 1 and Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and ought to cease forthwith.

The writ was issued in the chambers of Kwasi Afrifa, Esq, a Kumasi-based lawyer who recently made an allegation against the Chief Justice.

Attorney-General, Godfred Odame

Lawyer James Marshall Belieb is again seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of the preamble, Article1 , Article 2(1) and Article 125  of the 1992 constitution of Ghana Justice emanates from the people of Ghana and therefore the indication given on writs of summons issued in Gnana  that it is the Chief Justice from whom Justice emanates is a  continuing constitutional aberration which ought to be halted for its inherently unconstitutional nature and for its gross violation of the letter and spirit of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.

Further, he is seeking a declaration that Order 2 Rule 3 (1) of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004(C147) requiring every writ to conform to From 1 of the schedule to CI 47 is wrongful, unlawful, unconstitutional, inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 1 and Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The plaintiff is a citizen of Ghana by birth and resident in Patasi, Kumasi.

In his accompanying statement of claim, James Marshall Belieb set out that the 1st Defendant is in terms of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana per Article 88, the principal legal adviser of the Government of Ghana and is responsible for the conduct/representation of civil, criminal and constitutional proceedings against the State and the 2nd Defendant is the Head of the Judicial Arm of Government.

The Plaintiff claimed that the action is in his capacity as a citizen of Ghana to challenge the longstanding practice where the description CHIEF JUSTICE followed by the name of the occupant of the office appears on every writ of summons issued in Ghana.

The plaintiff stated that both the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana are breached by the continuing practice which undermines the sovereignty of the people of Ghana by appearing/seeming to suggest, imply and indicate that sovereignty and Justice emanates from the holder of the office of Chief Justice rather than the people of Ghana as clearly indicated in the 1992 Constitution.

The plaintiff claimed that by reason of this practice which is inimical to the 1992 constitution of Ghana the office of Chief Justice is elevated above the constitution and that office has become the personification of the people from whom sovereignty, power and justice emanates.

The plaintiff further stated that thee said requirement gives a deceptive grab of supremacy to the office of chief justice which manifest itself in several ways undermining the independence of judges and the conditions under which they serve and the tendency to effect arbitrary transfers without regards to the constitutional duty to be fair and candid as required by Article 296 of the 1992 constitution. The impression of unquestioned authority further finds expression in entitlements bestowed on the office to the exclusion of other serving Supreme Court judges as well as an unfettered decision making in respect of perks to be enjoyed by superior court justice.

The Plaintiff stated that the Honorable Court has a duty to give the spirit and letter of the 1992 Constitution the required trenchant potency with the deletion of the title CHIEF JUSTICE and the name of the office holder on all writs of summons issued in Ghana.

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