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Akufo-Addo nominates Gertrude Torkornoo as new Chief Justice

Justice Gertrude Torkornoo/Supreme Court of Ghana

President Akufo-Addo has nominated Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo as the new Chief Justice.

The announcement of the nomination comes in anticipation of the retirement of Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah from the bench on 24 May 2023.

President Akufo-Addo, in a letter to the Council of State on Tuesday (25 April 2023), said the nomination of Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo is to forestall any vacuum.

“Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah is due to retire from the bench on 24 May 2023, his seventieth birthday. In order to avoid a vacuum and ensure that a new Chief Justice is immediately in office after his retirement, I have decided to begin the process of appointment now,” the letter by the president said.

“Article 144 (1) of the constitution, which governs the appointment of a Chief Justice, requires that I first consult with the Council of State before seeking the approval Parliament,” the letter said.

It added, “Consequently, I am nominating Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court, as the new Chief Justice. I hereby enclose a copy of her curriculum vitae for your attention.”

Read the letter in full below:

Gertrude Torkornoo hails from Winneba in the Central Region. She was born on 11 September 1962 in Cape Coast.

She attended Wesley Girls’ High School where she obtained her Ordinary-level certificate and Achimota School for her Advanced-level certificate.

She is an alumna of the University of Ghana and graduated from the Ghana School of Law in 1986.

In 2001 she obtained a postgraduate diploma in international law and organisation from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), now part of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

In 2011, she graduated from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, United States with an LLM in intellectual property law.

Career

Prior to joining Fugar & Co, a law firm in Accra, as an associate, Justice Torkornoo worked as a volunteer with the legal aid service of FIDA, the international federation of women lawyers, and completed an internship with Nabarro Nathanson in London.

In 1994 she returned to Fugar & Co where she rose to become a director.

In January 1997, she co-founded Sozo Law Consult, where she worked as the managing partner until 14 May 2004, when she was appointed a justice of the high court of Ghana.

She worked as a high court judge until October 2012, when she was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Torkornoo was nominated to the Supreme Court of Ghana in November 2019 and was sworn into office on 17 December 2019.

Leadership profile

Justice Torkornoo has held several leadership roles in the judicial service.

In her work as chair of its e-justice committee, she has led the planning of automation of all levels of courts, procurement and incorporation of the use of electronic resources and software in the work of the judicial service.

She has also served as the supervising judge of commercial courts since 2013. Here she has set the agenda for and chaired the meetings and programmes of the users’ committee of the commercial courts.

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