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H.L Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo

Chief Justice of Ghana

H.L Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo

Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo is Ghana’s 13th Chief Justice and the 5th to be appointed to the position since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1992. She succeeded Justice Georgina Theodora Wood who retired from the post in 2017, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Madam Akuffo was born into the famous Akuffo dynasty of Akuapem in the Eastern Region on 20th December 1949 and had her secondary education at Parliament Hill School, Hampstead, London and Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast. After an LLB degree at the University of Ghana and an LLM from Harvard in the United States of America, she started her practice of law at prestigious law firm, Prempeh, Akuffo Addo and Co, where she was famously the first young lawyer to be taken on by the then infant firm. Some stints in corporate Ghana later, she set up her own firm, Legal Consultancy.

Her distinguished career won her many admirers, who were mostly impressed by her deep knowledge of the law, willingness to work hard to apply that knowledge and the even-handed way in which she applied it. These admirers included many in high places, including then President Jerry John Rawlings who in 1995 appointed her to the Supreme Court. Despite having spent all her working life up to that point in the private sector, Madam Akuffo embraced her new role with enthusiasm and her trademark assiduousness. Soon, she became one of the respected members of the bench and a dependable team member for her colleagues in the highest court of the land.

This competence and dedication led to her appointment as a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force. Further responsibilities would come in the form of an election to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights as one of the first judges in 2006. She must have been doing something right because in 2014 she was re-elected in 2014. She also served as Vice President and President of the court.

It was scarcely surprising then that in 2017, when President Akufo-Addo had to nominate a new Chief Justice, Madam Akuffo, then the second most senior justice on the bench would be nominated. Her nomination was endorsed by parliament as required by the constitution and on 19th June 2017, she was sworn in as the new Chief Justice.

As Chief Justice, she has undertaken to reform the image and processes of the judicial service. Her emphasis on the use of modern Information Communication Technology has seen the introduction of several initiatives aimed at transforming the delivery of justice in the country. Madam Sophie Akuffo has a daughter and two grandchildren.

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