Chief Justice nominee, Gertrude Araba Esabaa Torkornoo, says her position is on the side of the law with regard to issues on LGBTQ+.
The Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill is currently before Parliament.
The Bill considered by many as an anti-LGBTQ+ law seeks to criminalize homosexuality and related practices.
Asked about her position on LGBTQ+, when she appeared before the Appointment’s Committee of Parliament, on Friday, May 26, the next Chief Justice of Ghana noted, “I think I have made it clear that when I walk into the court, all my thoughts are soaked in the law”.
Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, who hails from Winneba in the Central Region, if approved, will become the third female Chief Justice in the history of Ghana, after Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.
She will replace Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who retired as Chief Justice on May 24, 2023, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 for justices of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court on May 24.
Supreme Court not biased; we follow the law
During her vetting, Justice Torkornoo used the opportunity to clarify a number of issues of public interest.
For instance, she refuted claims that the Supreme Court is biased when delivering rulings on political cases.
Justice Torkornoo explained that a unanimous decision by the apex court indicates that the decision is based on the law and not influenced by bias.
“Whenever you encounter a unanimous decision, it tells you that the law is totally on the side of the position taken by the court, that every member of the court in fidelity to their judicial oath cannot take a different position, it tells you that, that is what the law is.
“So the only response is to learn from what the law says, it is not a matter of bias, it is a matter of the legal position.”