Gertrude Torkornoo: Parliament approves her nomination as Chief Justice

Parliament on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, unanimously approved the nomination of Justice Gertrude Araba Essaba Torkornoo as the Chief Justice of Ghana.

Justice Gertrude Araba Esabaa Torkornoo is Ghana's third female Chief Justice.

This was after some members of the minority raised some concerns over the Chief Justice’s stands on birth certificate not a prove of national identity and the Supreme Court’s judgement on James Gyakye Quayson.

Representatives of the minority caucus on the appointments committee of parliament had earlier said they will not withhold their approval of the Chief Justice nominee by consensus although they disagree with her interpretation of the text of the 1992 Constitution as regard the James Gyakye Quayson case.

The Minority however, said her CV reveals a person of considerable experience having serve as a judge from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and ultimately the Supreme Court.

According to the NDC caucus, the image of the judiciary is not in a good shape because several opinion polls show that and expressed hope that Justice Gertrude as a Lady Chief Justice, will restore the dignity of the judiciary.

Profile of Justice Gertrude Torkornoo

Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo (born 11 September 1962) is a Ghanaian judge. She was nominated to the Supreme Court in November 2019 and received parliamentary approval in December 2019. She was sworn in on 17 December 2019.

She has been on the bench in Ghana since 2004 and was appointed a Supreme Court judge in 2019. She was one of the first Justices of the Commercial Division of the High Court and has been active in the core reform agenda and activities of the Judiciary and Judicial Service of Ghana since 2005.

Early Life and Education

Gertrude Torkornoo hails from Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. She attended Wesley Girls’ High School where she obtained her ordinary level certificate and Achimota School for her advanced level certificate.

She is an alumni 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 Organization from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), part of Erasmus University in the Netherlands. In 2011, she graduated from Golden Gate University, USA with an LLM in Intellectual Property Law.

Prior to joining Fugar & Co., a law firm in Accra as an associate, Justice Torkornoo worked as a volunteer at the FIDA Legal Aid Service and did an internship with Nabarro Nathanson in London. She returned to the firm (Fugar & Co.) in 1994 to become a director.

In January 1997, she co-founded Sozo Law Consult where she worked as 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.

She was sworn into office on 17 December 2019.


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