Constitutional Law Briefs

Tuffour v Attorney-General

Court: Court of Appeal, Sitting as Supreme Court

Year: 1980

Principle(s): An act which contravenes the constitution is void. Vetting and rejection of Apaloo found contrary to article 127(8), therefore void; Parliamentary proceedings cannot be questioned by the court pursuant to article 96; Every Ghanaian has the right to prevent the abolishing of the constitutional order and can bring an action in the Supreme Court for such purposes.

J.H Mensah v Attorney General

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1997-98

Principle(s): Retained ministers need prior parliamentary approval before they can assume office; inapplicability of political question doctrine; supremacy of the constitution

Sallah v. Attorney General

Court: Court

Year: 1970

Principle(s): Discussion of the legal effects of a coup d'état, grundnorm

Attorney General v Sallah

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1970

Principle(s): 1. It is not enough for a party to allege that a judge may be biased. There must be adequate proof; 2. The proof is the preponderance of evidence, same as in civil cases; 3. Merely knowing a judge is not proof that the judge will be biased; 4. There must be evidence to show a real likelihood of bias.

Banful and Another Vrs Attorney General and Another

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2017

Principle(s): Procedural limitation: President ought to obtain parliamentary ratification before entering into an agreement with the government of the United States for the transfer of two suspected terrorists into Ghana.

Asare v. General Legal Council (Examination and Interview Case)

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2017

Principle(s): When acts of administrative bodies contravene the Constitution, those acts shall be declared void. If an administrative body wants to make changes to a Legislative Instrument, it must do so in accordance with the procedure in article 11(7).

New Patriotic Party (NPP) v Attorney General (The 31st December Case)

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1994

Principle(s): Any act which contravenes the constitution shall be void to the extent of the inconsistency. The constitution as a whole is a justiciable document, and this includes the directive principles of state policy.

Republic v. State Fishing Corporation Commission Of Enquiry; Ex Parte Bannerman

Court: Court

Year: 1967

Principle(s): The NLC is limited in substance, the NLC is limited in procedure, the Commission of Enquiry is Limited institutionally.

Republic v. Director of Prisons. Ex Parte Salifa

Court: High Court

Year: 1968

Principle(s): Substantive limitation, procedural limitation

Republic v. Director of Special Branch; Ex Parte Salifa (2)

Court: High Court

Year: 1968

Principle(s): A person can be arrested without warrant if national security is at stake; the NLC had unlimited powers (absence of substantive limitation); A person can be re-arrested after being release on habeas corpus

Lardan v Attorney General (1st Case)

Court: High Court

Year:

Principle(s): Civil procedure seeking injunction against a deportation order will hamper the purpose of the Deportation Act, 1957

Lardan v Attorney General (2nd Case)

Court: High Court

Year: 1957

Principle(s): Absence of substantive limitation on the powers of parliament

Amidu v Kuffour & Others

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2001-2002

Principle(s): Rule of law: an action can be brought against the president under article 2, but through the Attorney General.

Dominic Ayine v Attorney General

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2020

Principle(s): When a person alleges that an action contravenes the constitution, he can bring an action at the Supreme Court under article 2(1) and 130(1) for a determination

Brogya Gyamfi v. Attorney General

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2020

Principle(s): A person who believes an act of government is contrary to some provisions of the constitution, may bring an action in Supreme Court for a declaration to that effect. Procedural Limitation (absence in this case)

State v. General Officer Commanding the Ghana Army; Ex Parte Braimah

Court: Court

Year: 1967

Principle(s): Absence of substantive limitation.

Miller v Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland

Court: The Supreme Court

Year: 2019

Principle(s): Rule of law: the court declared the prime minister's advice to the crown to prorogue parliament unlawful; Judicial Review: the court's adjudication of executive acts deemed to subvert parliamentary sovereignty.

Youngstown Co. v. Sawyer (Steel Seizure Case)

Court: Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

Year: 1952

Principle(s): The President has no power to issue an order for the seizure of property, but congress has the power; separation of powers

Regina (on the application of Miller and another) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

Court: UK Supreme Court

Year: 2017

Principle(s): Rule of Law: Ministers are only allowed to give notice of withdrawal to the EU upon statutory authorization; Separation of powers: Legislative authorization is needed prior to ministers giving a formal notice of withdrawal from EU to the Council of the European Union

United States v Nixon, 418 US 683

Court: United States Court of Appeal

Year: 1974

Principle(s): 1. Rule of law: The president does not have absolute immunity. 2. Checks and balances: intra-branch disputes are justiciable

Sam (No. 2) v Attorney-General

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2000

Principle(s): Supremacy of the Constitution; Judicial Review; Locus Standi

Ghana Lotto Operators v National Lottery Authority

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2007-2008

Principle(s): The Directive Principles of State Policy are presumptively justiciable.

Asare versus Attorney General (Constitutional Review Commission Case)

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2015

Principle(s): The president can propos bills for the amendment of the constitution and engage in activities preparatory to the actual amendment process.

Asare v. Attorney General (Swearing-in case)

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2004

Principle(s): Swearing in of the speaker as president does not violate separation of powers, as the organs still remain distinct and separate.

Abu Ramadan & Evans Nimako v. The Electoral Commission & The Attorney General

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 5th May, 2016

Principle(s): Judicial Review

The Republic v. Maikankan & Others

Court: Supreme Court, Ghana

Year: 1971

Principle(s): If a lower court thinks that a provision is clear and unambiguous, no reference needs to be made to the supreme court for interpretation of said provision; A jury is not necessary for trial of offences not punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Re Akotto and 7 Others

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1961

Principle(s): Rule of law, separation of powers; judicial review

Republic v. The High Court (Ex Parte Zanetor)

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 2016

Principle(s): When an issue of interpretation arises in Courts lower than the Supreme Court, the Court ought to stay proceedings and refer the issue to the Supreme Court; The eligibility criteria become alive at the time of filing ones nomination with the Electoral Commission.

Gbedemah v. Awoonor-Williams

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 1969

Principle(s): Judicial Review; No need to interpret when the words are clear and unambiguous

Marbury v Madison

Court: U.S Supreme Court

Year: 1803

Principle(s): Judicial Review: An act of congress which violates the constitution, is void.

Angu v Attah

Court: The Supreme Court of the Gold Coast Colony

Year: 1916

Principle(s): Customary law has to be proved in the courts till such a time that the courts take judicial notice of them

Tamaklo v Mitchell

Court: Divisional Court East Province, Accra

Year: 1892

Principle(s): An executive (commissioner) is only protected from court action by section 50 of the Supreme Court Ordinance if they act in their official capacity or truly believed they acted in an official capacity

Captan v Minister of Interior

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1970

Principle(s): An alien does not have the same rights as a citizen in terms of freedom of movement, entry into and residence in Ghana, and immunity from expulsion from Ghana.

Bilson v. Rawlings and Another

Court: High Court

Year: 1993-1994

Principle(s): Acquisition of citizenship; allegiance; citizenship as a way of disqualifying a candidate; rules governing granting of an injunction

Re Michael Ankomah-Nimfa

Court: High Court

Year: 2020

Principle(s):

Michael Ankomah Nimfah v. James Gyakye Quayson, The Electoral Commission, Attorney General

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2023

Principle(s): Citizenship is bound up with loyalty to the State and allegiance to it; Eligibility criteria for becoming a member of parliament become operative at the time the Electoral Commission opens nominations.

New Patriotic Party (NPP) v. Inspector-General of Police and Others

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1992-93

Principle(s): Any provision of an enactment which contravenes the constitution is null and void

Shalabi and Another v. The Attorney-General

Court: High Court

Year: 1972

Principle(s): Parliament does not have unlimited powers, and its acts can be challenged in court.

Bimpong-Buta v. General Legal Council and Others

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2003-2005

Principle(s): The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to entertain a suit if: the suit involves genuine issues of interpretation and the provisions needing interpretation have not been previously interpreted; it involves the enforcement of a non-human rights provision of the constitution (jurisdiction lies with the High Court in human rights cases); it questions the legality of an enactment by Parliament or any other authority; and it cannot be resolved by other competent courts without infringing upon the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

British Airways & Another v. Attorney-General

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1997-98

Principle(s): In the exercise of its supervisory jurisdiction, the Supreme Court can order lower courts to discontinue a trial; The court will not declare non-existent laws null and void.

Ware v. Ofori-Atta & Others

Court: Court of Appeal

Year: 1959

Principle(s): Procedural limitations. A bill affecting the traditional functions or privileges of chiefs must be referred to the House of Chief in the area of affected chiefs before its second reading in parliament.

State v. Dosso and Another (The Dosso Case)

Court: Supreme Court of Pakistan

Year: 1958

Principle(s): A revolution abolishes the old legal order and creates a new Grundnorm, the source of validity for all laws in a legal system.

Uganda v. Commissioner of Prisons, Ex Parte Michael Matovu

Court: High Court of Uganda

Year: 1966

Principle(s): After a successful revolution, the old order ceases to exists and a new one is created.

Lakanmi v. Attorney General for Western Nigeria

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1970

Principle(s): There was no revolution when a council of ministers handed over power to a military government.

Asare v. Attorney General and Another (Professional Law Course v Academic Law Course)

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2020

Principle(s): An action will be dismissed if it does not properly invoke the enforcement or interpretative jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

Mensima and Others v. Attorney-General and Others

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 1998

Principle(s): Any provision which contravenes the constitution is void. Regulation 3(1) of LI 239 contravened article 21(1)(e) of the 1992 Constitution, and is therefore void.

Republic v Yebbi and Avalifo

Court: Supreme Court of Ghana

Year: 1999-2000

Principle(s): Any provision which contravenes the constitution is void;

Dimes v. Grand Junction Canal Proprietors

Court: House of Lords

Year: 1852

Principle(s): The decision of a judge with a pecuniary interest in the case is invalid.

Essilfie And Another v. Tetteh and Others

Court: Court of Appeal

Year: 1995-1996

Principle(s): No one can be a judge in his own cause. Exclusion clause must be in accordance with the principles of natural justice to be valid.

Tetteh And Others v. Essilfie and Another

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2001-2002

Principle(s): The courts will generally enforce a provision in the Constitution of an Association which requires members to exhaust internal procedures for resolving issues before resorting to the Courts. However, the courts will not enforce such a provision if doing so is against the rule that a man should not be a judge in his own cause. Nemo judex in causa sua.

Tsikata v. Chief Justice and Attorney-General

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2001-2002

Principle(s): When an individual is entrusted with a constitutional or statutory obligation, an allegation of bias will not obstruct the fulfillment of that duty.

Bilson v. Apaloo

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 1980

Principle(s): Meaning of nemo judex in causa sua; The doctrine of necessity as an exception to the nemo judex rule.

Nduom and Others v. Bank of Ghana and Others

Court: Supreme Court

Year: 2023

Principle(s): An enactment cannot oust the jurisdiction of the Courts, as same is conferred by the Constitution.

Akufo-Addo and Others v. Quarshie Idun and Others

Court: Court of Appeal

Year: 1968

Principle(s): Where a statute clearly enjoins a person to perform an act, he has to do it even if its performance is incompatible with the strict rules of natural justice… We are of the opinion that where the clear terms of a statute conflict with natural justice it is the latter which has to yield.