Emeritus Prof S O Gyandoh Jnr., a Senior Partner of Gyandoh Asmah & Co has said Parliament, rather than the Supreme Court must be the stage for having a national conversation about the proposed amendment of the 1992 Constitution.

Speaking at a public forum organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) on the ?role of constitutional reforms in consolidating peace, stability and national cohesion,? Prof Gyandoh said: ?Let Parliament, rather than the Court become the main theatre for the carrying out of national conversation on constitutional reviewThe Constitution amendment process is being led by the Constitution Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) set up by the Government following extensive work done by the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) set up by President John Mills (late) in 2010.

CRIC, chaired by Prof. Emmanuel Victor Dankwah, was set up to make proposals and recommendations for the review of the constitution.

Forty-one of the provisions targeted for amendment are entrenched ? meaning a national referendum will be needed in effecting such amendments.

Fifty-six other articles of the Constitution have also been targeted by the CRC as demanding amendment to help move the country from a political to a developmental constitutional regime.

To identify these 97 provisions, the Commission consulted with the people of Ghana on the operation of the 1992 Constitution and on any changes that need to be made to the Constitution.

However, a US-based Ghanaian Law Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare, has filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking to nullify the constitution review process. Prof Asare is challenging the constitutionality of CRIC.

According to him, ?Professor Dankwah and his so called Constitution Review Implementation Committee have no power under the laws of Ghana to schedule a referendum and/or to amend the Constitution of Ghana.?

Asare argued that: ?Parliament is the sole body that can initiate, consider and propose amendments to the Constitution.?

In his view, neither the President, the CRC nor CRIC can usurp the powers of Parliament in effecting any constitutional amendments. He argued that the power of the Legislature in carrying out such exercise ?is not only plenary and exclusive, but also cannot be delegated to, or usurped by the President, the so-called Constitution Review Commission or the Constitution Review Implementation Committee.?

Private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, has also had cause to raise similar concerns about the work of the CRC and CRIC.

Prof Gyandoh, however, said the IDEG forum that: ?Irrespective of the outcome of the challenge of the constitutionality of the CRC or the CRIC or their work product, the fact of the matter is that such work product is an extremely useful compilation of how the great masses of the people, including all sections of the elite think and feel about our fundamental law. Such valuable pile of information and analysis cannot be allowed to go waste.?

Source: StarrFMonline


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