Judge Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, the nominee for chief justice, claims that judges in this country are not eligible for ex-gratia.
She emphasized that judges are not paid ex-gratia like other public office holders and added that they keep their positions until they retire.
Justice Gertrude Torkornoo stated that the Constitution’s founders believed it was prudent to maintain judges’ independence while she faced questions by the Parliamentary Appointments Committee on May 26.
Justice Gertrude Torkornoo said that the long-standing rule governing judges’ compensation could only be amended through a complex process.
“I think that consistently the Association of Judges and Magistrates have responded to the question of ex-gratia for judges and made it very clear that judges don’t receive ex-gratia. We continue in office, we don’t go anywhere until we retire. We don’t have a cycle, and therefore, the discussion of ex-gratia is not at all applicable to us,”Justice Gertrude Torkornoo said.
“This specific provision, where our names [judges] are mentioned, due to how our salaries are set under Article 71, it’s a presidential committee that does that work. And the framers of the Constitution thought that, that was the appropriate thing to keep us independent, and we are not the only persons subject to it. This is an entrenched provision and can only be changed by a very elaborate procedure”.
In Ghana’s history, after Justices Sophia Akuffo and Georgina Theodora Wood, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo would become the third female chief justice.
Source: Richard Obeng Bediako ll Metrotvonline.com ll Ghana