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Official: Akufo-Addo outdoors Sophia Akuffo as new CJ

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced Justice Sophia Akuffo as the new Chief Justice of Ghana.

The President who made the announcement Friday said he believes the Supreme Court Justice will be fair and independent at her new job, as she has been throughout her career.

“I have known Justice Sophia Akuffo well, for over forty years. Indeed, she was my first junior in practice, as barristers call their work. She impressed me considerably with her hard work, her capacity for detailed research, her independence of mind and spirit, her honesty and integrity, her deep-seated respect for the rule of law, and her abiding belief in the sovereignty of Almighty God. I believe these are the qualities which sustained her brilliant career as a lawyer that propelled her to the notice of the 1st President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, who appointed her to the Supreme Court on 30th November, 1995, some 22 years ago.

“She has been one of the leading lights of the Court since her appointment, and her contribution to the Court’s work and the growth of our nation’s jurisprudence has been extensive. She has enriched her judicial experience by serving with credit on continental judicial bodies such as the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where she ended up as President of the Court.

“I have no doubt that Justice Akuffo will be a worthy successor to Chief Justice Wood and uphold jealously the independence of the Judiciary. I expect discipline, fairness, integrity and the continuing modernisation of judicial activities to be the hallmarks of her tenure as Chief Justice, if she is so endorsed by the constitutional bodies. It is important for the development of our nation that we have a Judiciary that commands the respect of the nation by the quality of its justice delivery,” the President said.

According to Article 144 (1) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution: “The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President acting in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament.”

The current Chief Justice who has been in charge of Ghana’s Judicial Service for a decade Georgina Theodora Wood (appointed June 2007) bows out of office in June 2017.

Justice Akuffo becomes Ghana’s second female Chief Justice after Wood.

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Sophia A.B. Akuffo has been a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana for the past two decades.

Sophia Akuffo trained as a lawyer under Nana Akufo-Addo who had her Masters in Law (LLM) from the Havard University in the United States.

She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.

In January 2006 she was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights initially elected for two years, she was subsequently re-elected until 2014 and is at present serving as Vice-President of the Court.

She has written The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – the Ghanaian Experience, a presentation to the African Judicial Network Ghana (2002).

One of her famous cases is when she presided over the Montie 3 in 2016.