Political Science Lecturer, Ransford Gyampo, has made statements that contradict popular notion that lawyers and legal brains had a major role to play in the drafting of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution and therefore have a better understanding of it than regular Ghanaians.
According to Prof. Gyampo, Ghanaian lawyers openly boycotted processes leading to the drafting of the 1992 Constitution which he maintains was written by ordinary Ghanaians with varied professional backgrounds such as hairdressers, farmers, and mechanics.
He underscores that lawyers as it is cannot “claim better understanding of the spirit behind constitutional provisions than the ordinary people, who drafted the constitution.”
In the statement he made on his Facebook wall, Prof Gyampo has urged Ghanaians to read the constitution and never be intimidated by lawyers.
He cites the Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as one person who has an “excellent understanding of the laws of the land better than many lawyers. But he is not a lawyer.”
The statement by Prof. Gyampo has however attracted response of disagreement from some of his followers; some of who point out that the claim of lawyers not participating in the drafting of the constitution, cannot entirely be true.
“The fact that Ghana bar association boycotted the constituent assembly that drafted the 1992 constitution doesn’t mean that lawyers did not participate eg Martin Amidu and Obed Asamoah were lawyers who participated in the drafting of the 1992 constitution,” a Facebook user by the name Mumin Issa replied to the post.
Others also pointed out lawyers regardless of their participation in the drafting of the constitution or not by their training have a vast edge on its understanding more than the regular person.
“When matters of constitution are sent to court for interpretation, I don’t see these tailors, hairdressers etc in court ho argue. Constitutional matters are the preserve of lawyers and the courts and that’s why all commentaries are regarded as lay opinions,” Ganiu Mahamud wrote.
See Prof. Gyampo’s post below: