Ghana is set to have a new Chief Justice, as President Nana Akufo-Addo has nominated Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, a member of the Supreme Court.
Justice Torkornoo is expected to replace Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who will be retiring from the bench next month. If confirmed by parliament, she will become the third female Chief Justice in the history of Ghana, following Justices Georgina Theodora Wood and Sophia Akuffo.
In a letter to the chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Serebour, the President described Justice Torkornoo as “qualified and fit to discharge the functions of Chief Justice.”
She has been a member of the judiciary for the last nineteen years, having served 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 and was sworn into office on 17 December 2019.
Justice Torkornoo’s educational background is impressive, having attended Wesley Girls’ High School for her ordinary level certificate and Achimota School for her advanced level certificate.
She graduated from the University of Ghana and 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 the Golden Gate University, USA with an LLM in Intellectual Property Law.
As a member of the judiciary, Justice Torkornoo has held several leadership roles, including serving as the chair of the E-Justice Committee, where she has led the planning of automation of all levels of courts, procurement, and incorporation of the use of electronic resources and software in the work of the Judicial Service.
She has also served as the Supervising Judge of commercial courts since 2013, where she has set the agenda for and chaired the meetings and programs of the Users Committee of the Commercial Courts.
In addition to her judicial leadership, Justice Torkornoo has been involved in the development and oversight of several reform projects of the Judiciary involving the European Union, USAID, DFID, and collaborations with other African countries.
She was part of the seven-member panel that heard the 2020 election petition by John Mahama against The Electoral Commission of Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo.
Justice Gertrude Torkornoo’s nomination as the new Chief Justice of Ghana is a testament to her hard work, dedication, and leadership skills. She is expected to bring her wealth of experience to bear on her new role and help strengthen the country’s justice system.