The University of Ghana School of Law had been exploring the topic of constitutional reform and amendment through a lecture series it organized with the theme, ‘Entrenching Consensus and Legitimacy: Lessons from the Consultative Assembly for Reforming the 1992 Constitution.’
The lecture series, which was co-delivered by His Lordship Justice Jacob, Charles Monney and His Lordship, Stephen Alan Brobbey, was held at the School of Law auditorium on 2nd November, 2023 as part of activities for the School of Law’s alumni‘s goal of raising student’s awareness of the 1992 Constitution’s Amendments.
In his presentation, His lordship Brobbey highlighted the option to have a flexible national constitution or allowing the military to run the country.
He further touched on the option for the rectification of a flawed constitution over time rather than military rule in the country.
“We had a choice to allow the soldiers to continue ruling us by throwing away ideas about return to Ghana’s constitutional and then you and I will scream and complain. We had the chance to say bad constitution can be amended as we are trying to do now. It is better than no Constitution at all. And if you were faced with that choice, with the soldier holding a gun at your head and ruling the way they wanted, with you having no say as permanent future of Ghanaian land and on the other hand Ghanaians who are free to decide their own future.”
His Lordship Justice Jacob Charles Monney, also touching on the theme, elucidated that from hindsight, one can discern imperfections in the constitution, suggesting the potential reform. Though he emphasized the feasibility of amending the constitution, he however, questioned the attitude of people in power, urging them to do better as Ghanaian leaders.
“A constitution that was drafted is not a perfect document. We ourselves are even better, hindsight. We put this provision in because obviously, they were provision for amending the Constitution. The constitutions that we helped draft are not like the laws which cannot be changed. It can be changed and I think we have to commend ourselves. We should talk like Ghanaians, not just academies of people with self-servicing about certain matters. It is time to stop that selfish [attitude].”
He also revealed how the Ghana School of Law acquired the name ‘Makola’ as a term of reproach – a dyslogistic revolution of the supposed importance ascribed to the lawyers who obtained professional qualifications from foreign universities.
In an interactive session with some students, they elaborated on the essence of the lecture as a life-changing course for students to look out for reviews on the amendment of the 1992 Constitution.
“This year’s annual lecture, what stood out most especially from the Reformation of the 1992 Constitution, is the passion for amendment and continuous review of the Constitution, this is because we know the constitutions are as dynamic as our societies and there is also a need for us to use our laws for revolution.”
“I personally think students have been privileged to actually going through some of the articles in the Constitution, I think some deserve amendment and actually some has become dormant and we need to amend.”
“Today has been one of the best days you can ever hear of topics such as this because these are issues worth learning from and not for many other persons but people who were involved in drafting and bringing about this Constitution, how they analyzed from the beginning, how they came about the Constitution and the need, and the way forward. I think it’s one of the best discussions so far on the topics of the Constitution.”
Story by : Mabel Antwi | univers.ug.edu.gh