On Wednesday, 14th February 2018, The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) hosted a luncheon in honour of Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo. She was accompanied by Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Adinyira and His Lordship Justice William Atuguba.
Also in attendance were other distinguished members of Ghanaian society, policy makers and business leaders namely;
Justice Sophia Akuffo who qualified as a Barrister-at-Law in 1975, established her private law firm, Akuffo Legal Consultancy, and practised as a legal consultant from 1992 to November 1995, when she was appointed to the Supreme Court.
She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In 2006, she was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, where she served as Vice President of the Court for a statutory two-year term and later elected as President of the Court in September, 2012 for two years.
Among her writings is “The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – the Ghanaian Experience, a paper she presented to the African Judicial Network in 2002.
Until her nomination on 11th May, and sworn in on 19th June, 2017, as the 13th Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, and the fifth under the Fourth Republic, Justice Sophia Akuffo had been a Judge of the Supreme Court for 22 years (i.e. since 30th November, 1995).
With this as the background during her vetting by Parliament’s Appointment Committee, Justice Sophia Akuffo made some notable statements, two of which were:
“A nation breaks down when the justice system breaks down. Quality justice system is important. The most important is quality justice that’s delivered on time.”
She also told the committee that “Mob justice is misnomer and is definitely not justice. Many times mob justice is based on misunderstanding of processes. The other side of “justice delayed is justice denied” is “justice hurried is justice buried”.
The IEA chose to honour Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo because of the strength and integrity, courage, and professionalism that she has shown over the years.
Ghana’s strong judicial system offers the new democracies of Africa an example of how an independent judiciary can restrain and bring order to the politics and governance of a country.
Dr. Charles Mensa, Board Chairman of the IEA in his speech stated that “our great pride is not only in a few individuals, it is in outstanding individuals like you [Justice Akuffo], honest and able jurists, whose daily performance gives our entire judiciary a well-deserved reputation for competence and total integrity”.