Look at Acts with a lot of scrutiny – Former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo

She chaired the launch of Justice Alexander Osei Tutu’s book; Essential Themes in Land Law and Customary Law at the Law Court Complex in Accra.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Ghana’s former Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo has suggested that stakeholders in the legal profession should make it a point to scrutinise enacted laws, to check their suitability for application. 

She chaired the launch of Justice Alexander Osei Tutu’s book; Essential Themes in Land Law and Customary Law at the Law Court Complex in Accra.

“Sometimes in this country when something is enacted, we think that’s the end of the matter. No, it’s just a stop-gap. You now going to apply it, and see how suitable it is. Sometimes right from the start, there will be boxes that are not particularly suitable. 

Acts are not passed in stone, and we should as I suggested, be looking at enactments with a lot of criticism, of scrutiny, so that it works for us. That is why this book, right from the start, is a very viable resource book for everybody in Ghana, in the law and in the justice sector,” she said.

The book, Essential Themes in Land Law and Customary Law, dissects Ghana’s New Land Act, (Act 1036).

In the author’s own words, “with a fine-tooth comb, it discusses the new land law with a microscopic eye of the sections of the Act.” 

The book also captures the complexities around the role of the Tendana in modern Ghana, an area not recognized under Act 1036. 

Additionally, he points out that section 13 of the New Land Act bears similar wording to Article 36 (8) of the 1992 Constitution and explains how the Act ultimately seeks to satisfy the provisions of the Constitution. 

Much of the author’s acute analysis and comments deal with the topic of the Customary Land Secretariat, the much-debated problem of the scope and limitation of provisions on spousal property rights, Statutory Declarations in land litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution in land litigation, Constitutionality of Restrictions, Reformulation of the provisions of Re-entry and Forfeiture and the contentious debate of whether the Circuit Courts have the same jurisdiction in land matters as the High Courts. 

The book, the first of its kind to analyse Act 1036 is described by Justice Sophia Akuffo as a historical book with a comprehensive overview of the land Act. 

“We have really played around our land law in this country, and it has led to a lot of problems for the nation. Most of those problems are expected to be resolved in the land Act. But there is still a lot of loose ends that need to be put together,” she said.

In Justice William Atuguba’s review, he said “I have never seen a book so learned as this.” He highlighted that of particular interest was the treatment of the allodial title by the author.

The first copy of the book sold for GHC 10,000.00 and some as far as GHC 12,000.00