Supreme Court nominee wants cases to Apex court regulated

Supreme Court nominee wants cases to Apex court regulated
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|NG
Date: 23-08-2018 Time: 01:08:14:pm

A Supreme Court Justice nominee Prof Nii Ashie Kotey is advocating for a law limiting the number of cases the highest court can preside over.

He believes not all cases emanating from lower courts must travel the entire legal distance.

By the country’s legal processes cases heard at the smaller courts and at the high courts can travel through the court of appeal, Supreme Court as well as review before they can be deemed to have been concluded.

Prof Kotey wants some form of mechanism that allows the Supreme Court to first decide whether a case merits its attention before hearing it.

The former dean of the University of Ghana's School of Law is being vetted together with three others by Parliament's appointments committee following their nomination by President Akufo-Addo.

Prof Ashie Kotey told the committee taking the pressure off relieving the apex court is important.

“There must be an end to litigation. It is in the interest of the republic. For instance, if a person goes to the High Court, loses, appeals to the Court of Appeal, loses, I think unless there is a very huge principle of law which requires that the Supreme Court should look at it or there is some public interest justification,…the person must convince the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court why the matter should be appealed further,” he said.

While his proposal will not entirely take away the right of the applicant to exhaust all the processes available, Prof Kotey said two bites of the cherry by any applicant should be enough if the same result is recorded.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who was present at the vetting reported the nominee as saying decoupling Parliament entirely from the Executive by preventing MPs from becoming ministers is not the way.

Critics have argued Parliament has become subservient to the executive due to the law which requires a percentage of MPs to be appointed into government.

There have therefore been calls for a strict implementation of the separation of powers which will disallow MPs from becoming ministers.

But Prof Kotey told members of the Appointment Committee the current practice cannot be blamed for the weakened Parliament. Rather, limited resources is the reason why Ghana’s Parliament cannot function properly, Gakpo reported the nominee as saying.

Three other nominees will be vetted by the committee. Justice Samuel Kofi Marfo Sau is expected to take his turn later today with the two others taking their turn on Friday.