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Kulendi,Supreme Court judge nominee, opposes ceiling number of apex court justices

Kulendi,Supreme Court judge nominee, opposes ceiling number of apex court justices


Supreme Court judge nominee Yoni Kulendi has mounted a strong opposition to capping the number of justices at the apex court.

The private legal practitioner says ceiling the number of Supreme Court justices would be “boxing” the justice system into a corner.

“I am an advocate for an open limit,” Kulendi said when he faced parliament’s Appointments Committee on Tuesday.

This, he said would allow flexibility in the justice system and allow it to adapt to the needs of the people.

He said the Supreme Court gets a lot of cases and limiting the number of justices there could make the court get inundated with cases.

He argued that should the number be capped today, it may lead to amendments in the future since population growth would demand that the number be increased.

The question, from NDC MP, Sampson Ahi stems from recent controversies over the lack of an upper limit of Supreme Court judges.

Article 128 of the Constitution sates that “the Supreme court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court.”

No mention is made of a maximum number, a debate which has sharply divided legal minds.

Responding to a possible political abuse by the president who is the appointing authority if the number is not capped, Kulendi said there are filter systems to check abuse.

He said the president is mandated to consult the Judicial Council and the Council of State as well as the nominee being subjected to vetting by parliament.

Appeals Court judge, Clemence Honyenuga who also faced the Appointments Committee on Monday on his nomination to the Supreme Court called for a cap.

Mr. Honyenuga told the members of the Committee that the number must however be high.

He proposed 17; which he said would create a large pool to afford the Chief Justice to empanel judges without much sweat.

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