Supreme Court Sets July 17 for Ruling on Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill interlocutory injunctions

Quick Summary

The Supreme Court has scheduled July 17, 2024, to deliver rulings on lawsuits filed by Broadcast Journalist Richard Dela Sky and Researcher Dr. Amanda Odoi challenging the constitutionality of Ghana's Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill. Mr. Sky seeks a declaration that the bill breaches constitutional provisions and violates human rights, while Dr. Odoi seeks a restraining order to prevent the bill's transmission to President Akufo-Addo. The Chief Justice announced that separate rulings will be delivered following arguments from both sides.

Full Article

The Supreme Court of Ghana has set July 17, 2024, as the date to deliver rulings on two lawsuits challenging the controversial Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill passed by Parliament. Broadcast Journalist Richard Dela Sky and Researcher Dr. Amanda Odoi are the plaintiffs in these cases, each presenting distinct concerns regarding the bill's legality and implications.

Mr. Richard Dela Sky is challenging the constitutionality of the bill, asserting that it violates several provisions of Ghana's 1992 constitution and infringes on fundamental human rights guaranteed therein. He seeks a declaration from the Supreme Court that the bill passed by Parliament is unconstitutional.

On the other hand, Dr. Amanda Odoi has raised specific concerns about provisions within the bill and is seeking a restraining order to prevent Parliament's Speaker, the Attorney General, and the Clerk of Parliament from sending the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his approval.

Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, presiding over the Supreme Court, announced that the two cases would not be consolidated and that separate rulings would be issued. This decision followed a request by Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame.

During the proceedings, Dr. Ernest Ackon, counsel for Dr. Amanda Odoi, argued against the bill's approval, highlighting its potential imposition of direct charges on public funds, which he contends violates Article 108 of the constitution. He also pointed out the absence of a fiscal impact analysis prior to the bill's submission to the President.

In response, Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame defended the Speaker's discretion in the legislative process, emphasizing that it is constrained by constitutional provisions and warrants the Supreme Court's deliberation on the injunction application.

Meanwhile, Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the Speaker of Parliament, argued against Dr. Odoi's injunction application, asserting that it lacks substantial grounds, particularly regarding the need for a fiscal impact analysis which he argued was not explicitly required by the constitution.

The Supreme Court, chaired by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, is currently hearing arguments in the case brought by Richard Dela Sky, focusing on the constitutional merits and implications of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.

As the court prepares for its ruling on July 17, stakeholders and the public await the outcome, which is poised to have significant implications for Ghana's legal landscape and human rights discourse.