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June 3, 2020
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Kulendi Opposes Capping of Supreme Court Judges

A private legal luminary and President Akufo Addo nominee to the Supreme Court, Mr Emmanuel Yoni Kulendi, has kicked against any move to cap the number of Justices at the Supreme Court.

According to him, limiting the Supreme Court Judges would amount to what he said “boxing” the justice system into a tied corner.

“I am an advocate for an open limit,” Kulendi said when he faced parliament’s Appointments Committee on Tuesday.

He told the Appointment Committee of Parliament during his vetting on Tuesday May 12, 2020, he would allow flexibility in the justice system and allow it to adapt to the needs of the people.

In his considered view, the Supreme Court is flooded with cases and capping the number of the judges could overwhelmed with cases leading to prolong litigation.

He contended that should the number be capped, it might lead to amendments in the future since population growth would demand that the number be increased.

The question, from NDC MP, Sampson Ahi stems from recent controversies over the lack of an upper limit of Supreme Court judges.

Article 128 of the Constitution sates that “the Supreme court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court.”

No mention is made of a maximum number, a debate which has sharply divided legal minds.

Responding to a possible political abuse by the president who is the appointing authority if the number is not capped, Kulendi said there are filter systems to check abuse.

He said the president is mandated to consult the Judicial Council and the Council of State as well as the nominee being subjected to vetting by parliament.

The renowned private legal practitioner also dismissed speculations that his nomination as a judge to the highest court of the land woukd positively impact his financial fortunes.

He noted that moving from private practice to public services at the Supreme Court meaning he is about to commit financial suicide by accepting to serve as a judge at the apex Court.

Left to him, there must be a national dialogue on the remuneration for public servants including judges which would help in the fight against perceived corruption in the Judiciary.

“Mr Chairman, People in my village are watching me and they will think that this is an elevation but they don’t know that I am about to commit financial suicide, levels will change.

“We need to have a national dialogue on where we want to go otherwise the Imams will preach their sermons, the pastors will preach but this demon called corruption will bring us down.”

Mr Kulendi also revealed he has a relationship with President Akufo-Addo.

He said if the President had not nominated him as a judge of the highest court of the land, he would have still put his name as a reference on his CV in any job appointment.

 

 

Source:therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba

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