SC ruling on birth cert raises doubt over Ghanaian passports – Law Professor

A Professor of Law and Economics Kwame Nti Asare says the Supreme Court ruling which rejected the birth certificate as proof of citizenship raises concerns over the legitimacy of the Ghanaian passports.

According to him,  the court judgment also displaces the value of the birth certificate of Ghanaians.

Speaking on the maiden edition of the ‘Analyses’ on Starr FM Saturday, the economics expert said the law lords failed to consider the wider implications of the judgment.

“I disagree totally with the Supreme Court on that. Through their ruling and actions, they have proven to Ghanaians that birth cert is nothing. If you don’t trust the integrity of the birth cert why use it for passports. If the birth cert is not legitimate, then passports are also not legitimate. The ruling raises integrity issues for the passports and also the outcome of the 2016 polls,” he said.

He maintained ” I think that the birth certificate is a legitimate document that is indicative of one’s nationality”.

But the President of the Institute of Security Dr Ishmael Norman who also spoke on the show said the Supreme Court ruling was apt.

“I think the Supreme Court was right but the EC must have exercised some restraint in the decision to compile a new register considering the variables involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has described as absurd reason given the Supreme Court for its judgment against the use of birth certificate as a proof of citizenship.

According to the NDC MPs, the judgment itself contains a grave error in which the main complainant, the National Democratic Congress, (NDC) is referred to as NDP.

The full judgment written Justice Prof. Ashie Kortey held that the birth certificate does not offer an identity to a bearer as a proof of citizenship.

It adds that it provides no evidence of citizenship.

The court compares it to another document it has already rejected; the National Health Insurance Cards and concludes it’s actually better than the Birth Certificate.

But speaking to Starr News MP for South Dayi and a member of the committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Rockson Dafeamekpor said the seven justices were wrong.

According to him the judgment has rendered status of passports issued with birth certificates as proof of citizenship questionable.

“These are serious matters, this is how absurd if we subject the judgment of the court to interpretation it will lead us to. So the issue will have to be revisited.”

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com/103.5FM

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