By consensus, Gertrude Torkornoo was proposed for appointment as Chief Justice .

Torkornoo - Rapid News GH

The Appointments Committee of Parliament has unanimously nominated Justice Gertrude Torkornoo for appointment as Chief Justice.

This came after the committee had reviewed her on Friday.

The committee’s minority side in parliament requests a postponement of the decision regarding her clearance.

She appeared before the committee on Friday [May 26, 2023], and after each committee member had a chance to ask a question, the majority side claims there is no justification for postponing the judgment.

The Minority side claimed that only after they had thoroughly assessed the “Supreme Court reasoned judgment in the matter of James Gyakye Quayson” and his expulsion from Parliament as a member for Assin South” could they decide whether or not to approve or disapprove of Justice Gertrude Torkornoo’s nomination as Chief Justice.

The Minority side came to the vetting with that position, according to Joe Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee. Torkornoo

According to him, there is no justification for postponing a decision on her recommendation following the vetting process simply because the Minority side wants to hear the verdict in the Gyakye Quayson case.

“They [the Minority] arrived at the screening with a position: either you do this for me, or I don’t. We have investigated the matter, and we are confident that there is no justification for postponing the ruling [on Gyakye Quayson] so that we can read it.

“They [Minority] won’t support her because they haven’t read the judgment; it’s one of a fixed position versus what is there,”

According to a majority vote, “We recommend her for approval,” Mr. Osei Owusu said.

He said that rather than by consensus, the Appointments Committee will proceed with its report.

He explained that the Minority side brought up the subject of the unresolved Supreme Court full written judgement on the Gyakye Quayson case after the public vetting and when the committee members met as they always do after every vetting. Torkornoo

Public hearing

At the end of the public hearing, the chairman, Mr Osei Owusu announced that “nobody has been refused the permission to ask a question. Every opportunity has been afforded members to ask any questions they want. After the conclusion, we have to take a decision.

Now I ask, what will be the justification for deferring the decision. I don’t have any justification to defer this decision because of a matter which has been concluded by a panel [on Gyakye Quayson] and not her [Torkornoo]. Even if she is the one who writes the judgment [of the Supreme Court], she will be writing on behalf of the [panel], reporting the group’s decision. So what is the basis for deferring,” Mr Osei Owusu said in an interview with Richard Sky of Citi FM, monitored by Graphic Online. Torkornoo

Mr Osei Owusu said there is “absolutely no basis for recalling her for a second meeting for vetting.”

“There is no issue that was not resolved. There is no question that there was no answer. Infact, for those who paid attention, the Minority Leader [Cassiel Ato Forson] was the last person to ask questions on behalf of Minority and he asked questions relating to this same judgment and she explained how they [judges] draw conclusions, and how the decisions that are taken, the decisions of the group are made.

Press release from the minority group

The Minority side later stated in a news release that they had been able to analyze Justice Torkornoo on all pertinent criteria, “except the outstanding matter of James Gyakye Quayson which would enable us to come to a decision.”

The Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza, made a statement on Friday evening (May 26, 2023) that said, “We expect the reasoned judgment of the court on this matter by 7th June, 2023 to finalize our decision.”

This came after the candidate had already undergone a daytime interview with the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

A copy of the Minority’s statement is attached below.


The Minority Members on the Appointments Committee of Parliament did not vote on President’s nominee for the position of Chief Justice today due to the unavailability of the reasoned judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of Hon. James Gyakye Quayson.

It is important to state that the Appointments Committee not long ago in 2019 vetted and approved this same nominee as a Justice of the Supreme Court. However, it was imperative for Members of the Minority on the Committee to evaluate the decisions of the nominee on all other cases, including the James Gyakye Quayson case since the vetting in 2019. Torkornoo

We successfully evaluated the nominee on all relevant criteria except the outstanding matter of James Gyakye Quayson which would enable us come to a decision. We expect the reasoned judgement of the court on this matter by 7th June, 2023 to finalise our decision.

We have duly communicated our challenge to our colleagues on the Majority side and expect their cooperation.

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