The judiciary is being advised to consider Prof Raymond Atuguba’s research findings as validating the judicial philosophy of Supreme Court Justices instead of an affirmation of judicial bias among the Judges of the apex court.
Law Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare, says in his view, the controversial findings “simply suggest that Justices have discoverable judicial philosophy and Presidents are good at discerning same and appointing Justices who reflect their preference of philosophy.”
His comments on his Facebook page on Sunday follow attacks by the Judiciary – Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo and justices of the Supreme Court – on Prof Atuguba’s research that found that the voting pattern by Supreme Court Judges has been consistent with the political leanings of their appointing authority.
Presenting his findings on Thursday at the 2018 GIMPA Law Conference where the Supreme Court judges had gathered, Prof Atuguba explained that he came to this conclusion after analysing one hundred political cases in Ghana.
Justice Jones Dotse has said the research “is an insult of the highest order.”
But Prof Asare opined that “no good President appoints Justices randomly. Their staff reads or should read all opinions, articles and commentaries authored by a potential nominee to evaluate the nominee’s philosophy. To the extent that Presidents are rational, they will then appoint only those whose philosophy is palatable to them.”
– Prof Asare
He explains further: “As an example, in the unlikely event that I am President, I will appoint Professor H Kwasi Prempeh as a Supreme Court Justice. This is not merely because he is my brother but it is because I know and like his judicial philosophy.
“Years after he has been confirmed, a researcher who studies his positions on the bench might find out that he takes my position 95% of the time. Well, this is not because he is biased or consciously rules in my favour. This is merely because his approach to interpreting the Constitution aligns with mine.Rather than play political football with Atuguba’s findings, let us draw the proper policy implications.”
Read the full post by Prof Asare below. He appears as ‘Kwaku Azar’ on Facebook.