Supreme Court shoots down Imposition of Restrictions Act, describes it unconstitutional

Headlines Supreme Court shoots down Imposition of Restrictions Act, describes it unconstitutional
JUN 1, 2023 LISTEN

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Ghana has invalidated the Imposition of Restrictions Act, which granted President Akufo-Addo the power to impose restrictions on Ghanaians during the covid-19 pandemic.

The unanimous decision was delivered by a seven-member panel, presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, who described the Act as inconsistent with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution.

The case was brought before the court by Law Professor and Human Rights Advocate, Kojo Appiagyei Etuah, together with eight others, who argued that the law violated the constitution.

Lawyer Etuah contended that the act was unlawful as it granted the President unilateral authority to suspend fundamental human rights and freedoms across the country, without proper checks and balances.

The court agreed with the plaintiffs' argument and ruled that the act failed to recognize the special role of the Chief Justice and the Superior Court of Judicature in managing or regulating the suspension of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Additionally, the court found fault with the exclusion of Parliament's role in managing or regulating such suspensions.

The verdict effectively overturns the legal basis on which the government imposed restrictions during times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Imposition of Restrictions Act was enacted in 2020 to provide a legal framework for the government's response to public emergencies, but its broad powers had raised concerns among human rights activists and legal experts.

Gideon Afful Amoako
Gideon Afful Amoako

News ReporterPage: GideonAffulAmoako