Our democracy – 40 years on


…Meet the members of the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee

The Review of the 1992 Constitution is a subject that has come up for national discussion on many occasions. The biggest effort yet for the review of the 1992 Constitution culminated in the CRC Report of 2011. A very comprehensive and thorough report, we must admit that 12 years on, we need to review this report in the light of the current state of our democracy, innovations in technology and decide on the way forward for our country.

To this end, a Constitution Review Consultative Committee consisting of institutional representation was inaugurated on April 14, 2023 by the Honourable Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Minister Osei Kyei -Mensah –Bonsu under the auspices of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to:

  1. Review the report of the Constitution Review Commission, (CRC Report, 2011); stakeholder submissions for constitutional review; proposals for constitutional review; reports, etc. post the CRC Report;
  2. Review submissions made by notable persons and interest groups on various constitutional review platforms such as Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), University of Ghana Law School, University of Professional Studies (UPSA), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) etc. post the CRC Report;
  3. Make recommendations to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and its partners and collaborators; and
  4. Submit a report on suggestions or firm resolve for a review of the 1992 Constitution and the best procedure to achieve this.

Composition of the Committee

The Committee is composed of the following institutions all of whom nominated their own representatives for appointment unto the Committee:

# Name of Institution Representative
1 The University of Ghana School of Law, (UGSOL) Clara K. Beeri Kasser-Tee
2 National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) Victor Brobbey
3 Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Mercy Larbi
4 African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) Prof. John Asafo-Adjaye
5 National Media Commission (NMC) Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo
6 Judiciary Justice Yonny Kulendi
7 Auditor Service John Nworzah
8 Parliamentary Service Nana Tawiah Okyi
9 Ghana Bar Association Anthony Forson
10 Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General Department (MOJAGD) Alfred Tuah-Yeboah
11 National Development Planning Commission Dr. Kodjo Mensah Abrampa
12 Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Tweneboah Kodua Dickson

The Committee is therefore independent, non-partisan, and inclusive. Coincidentally, the members sent to the Committee from the various institutions include: (i) members who were on the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution, and so have an insight into the reasons that produced the 1992 Constitution; (ii) members who were part of the CRC that produced the CRC Report of 2011; and (iii) a cross section of the Ghanaian society including civil society. All of its research assistants are young people. A full complement of the Research Assistants will be made available in subsequent publications.

The Committee at its maiden meeting elected Clara K. Kasser-Tee Esq as its chairperson. She represents the University of Ghana School of Law, and also is Vice Chairperson of CDD Ghana.

Strategy of the Committee: Clause by clause consideration of the 1992 Constitution in the light of the CRC Report- Build on, Revision and Inclusion

Specifically, the Committee will not redo or undo what the CRC did, but rather build on what the CRC did and include changes that may have occurred since 12 years ago when the CRC report was authored. So, the Committee:

  1. Adopts the CRC recommendations where same is not overtaken by events;
  2. Harmonises the CRC report with the Gov’t White Paper and submissions received, and, considers whether there are more efficient ways to achieve the same objective;
  3. Makes recommendations for clause-by-clause amendment where necessary; and
  4. make recommendations on the best procedure and process for amendment of the 1992 Constitution

The Approach of the Committee

  1. Clause by clause consideration of the entire constitution vis a vis the CRC report and all the stakeholder submissions since the CRC report.
  2. Each recommendation must consider the underpinning values of the Constitution: Liberty; Equality of opportunity; prosperity; inclusion; respect for diversity; freedom and justice; accountability; rule of law; protection and preservation of human rights; unity of our nation; stability of our nation; sovereignty of the people of Ghana; respect for our cultural heritage; friendship and peace with all peoples of the world; and democratic values.
  3. That constitutions are Broad frameworks rather than manuals.

Objective of the Committee

The report from this work must reflect who we are as a people, where we are 12 years on since the CRC report, where we want to be in our democratic journey, and recommend a constitutional framework that puts us in a position to pursue the Ghanaian aspiration for democracy.

Guiding Principles of the Committee

  1. Does it belong in the constitution or an Act, Regulation, Political Party Constitution, etc.?
  2. Does the current provision achieve the effect?
  3. Is it consistent with the clear values of the Constitution?

Amendment Procedure

The Committee considers:

  1. Is it an entrenched or a non-entrenched clause?
  2. If it is a non-entrenched provision, can it be amended by a private members bill or it must be tabled through the President?
  3. If it is an entrenched clause, how many can we amend at a time? This is because this Committee is of the firm conviction that any amendment of that requires a referendum, must also be such as to enable the Ghanaian people reflect and consider each bill on its merits and decide whether or not they want that bill amended.

In the coming weeks, we will share with you our draft report for your feedback.

Way Forward?

Get involved. It is our country. Send your proposals or comments to: [email protected] or [email protected]

Subject: Constitutional Review.

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