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Don’t Ignore Constitution Review Calls – SC Judge

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A justice of the Supreme Court, Gabriel Pwamang, says the momentum surrounding recent calls for the review of the 1992 Constitution should not be brushed off or given little consideration by authorities concerned.

According to him, there seems to be a new spring of constitutional consciousness among Ghanaians, which has never been experienced in the country, and therefore, must decide the overall direction of the country.

Speaking at the National Commission for Civic Education’s (NCCE) constitutional week lecture in Accra, Justice Pwamang said the growing calls for a review of the national constitution were unprecedented, and believes more seriousness should be given to the calls.

He stated that the constitutional review calls had spread far and wide, permeating the younger generation, “whose persistent failure to see a better future ahead of them after continuous changes of government appears to explain their awakening.”

“We need to open our ears widely to the loud whispers of this spirit, and be sensitive to its guidance,” the Supreme Court jurist urged.

For him, calls for amendments to the 1992 Constitution were to be expected, given that the law has been used for three decades.

“Since a constitution cannot set out every conceivable circumstance and provide for it, after 30 years of existence, our constitution requires certain significant reforms that can only be accomplished with resort to the amendment procedure in Chapter 25 of the Constitution,” he noted.

He, however, admonished the country not to do total overhauling of the constitution, asserting, “We should not underrate the thinking that informed our constitutional structure which has kept us together as one nation without little intervention for 30 years so far.”

“My advice is that there is no one-size-fits-all democratic governance structure in the world,” Justice Pwamang pointed out.

The lecture was on the theme, “Three Decades of Uninterrupted Constitutional Rule; Revisiting the Agendas for Reforms.”

Background

Former President John Evans Atta Mills, in 2010 set up a Constitution Review Commission to, among others, ascertain from Ghanaians their views on the operation of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution, and articulate the concerns of their own amendments that may be required for a comprehensive review.

The commission submitted its report to the government on December 20, 2011, and issued a white paper on it within the six months period, which it accepted most of the recommendations of the commission.

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