Posted by / Monday 19 December 2016 / No comments

How Ghana practices Rue of Law

Definition of rule of Law
Rule of law has two definitions, the classical meaning as proposed by A. V. Dicey and the modern definition by the New Delhi declaration in 1959 at a meeting of the International Commission of Jurists.

According to A. V. Dicey, in his classical opinion, Rule of Law means the law is supreme. In other words, the law is the highest authority of the land in the absence of which nothing else can prevail. For example, the law does not reside in the bosom of anybody.

The contemporary definition, as developed by the International Commission of Jurists states that it is the conditions, structures, institutions, processes and procedures that must exist so that the individual can enjoy his life in dignity, security and prosperity.

Independence of the judiciary
One of the evidence that Ghana is practicing Rule of Law is that the judiciary is independent. The judges are appointed by the executive on the recommendations of the Judicial Services Commission and after that they cannot be removed from office until their age of retirement. The judges are free to carry out their duty without any fear of being victimized by the government.

Freedom of the press
Another factor that shows that Ghana is practicing Rule of Law is the freedom of the press. In Ghana, there are hundreds of radio stations, television stations, newspapers and news portal that say just anything they want to without the fear of being punished for their opinions except they breach the law.

Power of judicial review
In Ghana, the judiciary has the power to declare null and void any actions of the executive and the legislature if they violate the constitution of the land. In other words, the executive and the legislature cannot act beyond the powers that are granted them by the constitution.

Constitutional restrictions
Another proof that Ghana is practicing Rule of Law is the restriction the constitution places on the legislature to prevent it from taking certain actions. For example, the 1992 constitution of Ghana would not allow the parliament to pass any law with retrospective effect.

Periodic elections
In Ghana, there are periodic elections to renew the mandate of a government or to remove another government from office. The freedom to choose who rules over one’s country is one requirement of Rule of Law and Ghana has done creditably well in ensuring that that happens every time the time is due.

Fundamental Human Rights
The constitution of Ghana has enshrined in the constitution some inalienable rights that the citizens must enjoy. The enjoyment of which does not depend on the whims and caprices of any individual. The right to life, the right to own property, the right to fair trial in the law court and many others are all enshrined in the constitution. This shows that Ghana is indeed practicing Rule of Law.

1. Explain five ways in which it is applying the concept of Rule of Law is being practiced in Ghana. [15 marks]

2. Show with evidence, five ways in which Rule of Law has deep roots on Ghana. [15 marks]

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