In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the law that allowed the government to impose restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Imposition of Restrictions Act, passed by Parliament in 2020, permitted the government to enforce restrictions outlined in Article 21 of Ghana’s 1992 constitution.
Article 21 allows for restrictions to be implemented in the interest of defense, public safety, public health, or the operation of essential services, concerning the movement or residence of individuals or classes of persons within Ghana.
Under this law, the government issued various instruments to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, including the restriction of public gatherings, the closure of schools, and the implementation of measures governing religious gatherings.
But a seven-member panel presided by Justice Jones Dotse has ruled that the Imposition of Restrictions Act is inconsistent with the Constitution, and as a result, declared the law unconstitutional, null, and void.
The case was filed by Law Professor and Human Rights advocate Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, along with eight others in 2020.
The applicants contended that the law unlawfully empowered President Akufo-Addo to unilaterally suspend fundamental human rights and freedoms without the necessary involvement of the Chief Justice, the Superior Court of Judicature, or Parliament.
The apex court said the full reasoning of the judgment would be ready on or before June 7.