Private legal practitioner Kweku Paintsil has commended the Attorney General for his request for the live telecast of the Supreme Court proceedings on the suits filed against the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill (Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill).

According to him, this move is a positive step forward fulfilling the principles of justice by ensuring transparency and accountability.

Speaking on the JoyNews’ AM Show on May 9, Mr Paintsil said that the purpose of the live telecasts of court proceedings is to ensure that justice is administered.

“Our courts are open courts. And it’s not every matter that of course, attracts the attention that requires for everybody to be so much interested. But somebody has to make a choice. And the way I will react to what the attorney general has done is we are thankful to God for the small mercies.”

He stated that telecasting every case in court would be impractical, and clarified that not every political case needs to be televised.

“There are a lot of political matters that are in court. What becomes the basis for determining? But at least, we have this matter which is in one court and the Supreme Court is the highest court in the country. And I will say that what the Attorney (General) has done is in the right direction. It fulfils the demands of justice that the people must not only hear but also see.”

The legal practitioner pointed out that there are no established criteria for determining which cases should be televised based on national interest.

According to him, the decision to telecast court proceedings should be based on a justifiable rationale.

“Cecelia Dapaah is one. I know of other matters that are also running in the high court. Even though there are criminal trials, it also feeds the political spectrum or arena. So I will leave that decision to the Attorney General, he may determine which cases in his view are best suited for live telecast.”

This comes after the Supreme Court proceedings on the Anti-LGBTQ+ suits filed by Richard Dela Sky and Dr Amanda Odoi were broadcast live following a request from the Attorney-General due to the growing public interest in the case.

During the proceedings, the apex court granted an application by private legal practitioner cum journalist, Richard Dela Sky to amend reliefs in his suit challenging the constitutionality of Parliament in passing the bill.

Counsel for the first defendant, Thaddeus Sory, had suggested to the court that the applicant be given time to amend paragraphs five and seven of his applications to sync with his reliefs.

Paragraph five of the applicant’s writ is seeking “an order restraining the Speaker of Parliament and the Clerk to Parliament from presenting The Human and Sexual Values Bill, 2024 to the President of the Republic for his assent.”

Paragraph seven of the application is also seeking “an injunction barring any attempts to enforce the provisions of The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bil 2024, particularly those criminalizing same-sex relationships and related advocacy efforts.”

The Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkonoo upheld the suggestion of the counsel for the first defendant and adjourned the amendment to May 17 after a back and forth.

On her part, Dr. Amanda Odoi also raised concerns about specific provisions within the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill and sought a restraining order to prevent the Speaker, the Attorney General, and the Clerk of Parliament from sending the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his approval.

The cases have been suspended indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Senior Programmes officer of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Michael Augustus Akagbor said the Attorney General’s request for a live telecast of court proceedings was not genuine.

Also speaking on JoyNews, Mr Akagbor said the focus on the live telecast of anti-LGBTQ+ court proceedings has overshadowed another important case involving former minister Cecilia Dapaah, who is facing corruption allegations.

Passage of Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Parliament passed the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on Wednesday, February 28.

Among other things, the bill punishes those who take part in LGBTQ sexual acts, as well as those who promote the rights of gay, lesbian or other non-conventional sexual or gender identities with time in prison.

Subsequently, the Office of the President in a letter dated March 18, 2024, requested Parliament to refrain from sending the anti-gay bill to President Akufo-Addo for his assent.

In the letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, the Presidency explained that the decision stems from the acknowledgement of two pending applications for an order of interlocutory injunction before the Supreme Court.

The letter emphasised that it would be improper for Parliament to proceed with transmitting the Bill to President Akufo-Addo for any action until the matters before the court are addressed.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that the Attorney-General has advised the President against taking any action regarding the Bill until the issues raised in the legal suits are resolved by the Supreme Court.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.