University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law School has brought together top dignitaries in the legal fraternity in an honorific lecture and awards ceremony to celebrate the lifetime achievements and works of Prof. Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah.
According to the management of the school, the initiative is aimed at achieving the objective of combining inspired teaching and learning of law with a world-class module in a collegial academic setting.
It is believed that the life and achievement of the renowned justice, who was the first student to graduate with first class in LL. B from the University of Ghana in 1965, will enlighten students and inspire hope to aspire for professionalism and excellence.
The Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana was highly revered for his exceptional contribution to Ghanaian law and its development, especially in the areas of review, interpretation and legal education.
Justice Date-Bah served as a Special Legal Advisor at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for twenty years 1984 to 2003, before his appointment to the country’s Supreme Court from 2003 to 2013.
Her Ladyship Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, who chaired the colourful event, eulogised the legal colossus for his involvement in all facets of the legal system – as an academic, a lawyer, and a judge.
The Chief Justice recounted her personal experience with Prof. Date-Bah, who supervised her as a judge, stating that his ability to impart knowledge irrespective of the setting is remarkable. Not forgetting about his affability and humility even though very brilliant.
“I describe Prof. Date-Bah as a consummate teacher and each interaction with him is an exercise in receiving knowledge. Without attempting to teach in conventional ways, in any short time of interaction, Prof. Date-Bah can impart professional and life lessons that can have a transformative effect on a life and career.
“Professor Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah is a distinguished individual who has dedicated his lifetime to upholding the ideals of personal integrity, the reality of justice, and the rule of law. And his legacy from these noble pursuits will forever be etched in minds, hearts and national history,” she said.
On his part, the Attorney-General and Minster of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, highlighted some landmark cases adjudicated by the retired Supreme Court judge, including instances where he gave profound interpretations to an act and also called for reviews of certain laws.
“Justice Date-Bah’s works on Contract Law have become the cornerstone of the study of thought in Contract Law for many of us. I will hasten to say that Prof. Date-Bah’s return to Ghana in 2003, marked by his momentous appointment to the Supreme Court, further boosted his contribution to legal education as he enriched the study of law in Ghana, generally, with many very incisive judgments on a variety of subjects, ranging from Constitutional Law to business transactions. Indeed, it is within that span of a decade on the Supreme Court that Justice Date-Bah left his most lasting legacy for Ghana law,” he said.
Justice Date-Bah expressed his profound gratitude to the UPSA Law School, led by Prof. Kofi Abotsi, for bestowing the honour on him. He said the legal system was an important instrument for affecting the socio-economic development of the country.
The retired justice also took the opportunity to call for the limitation of powers and rights of the executive in order to achieve constitutionalism.