Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo (Mrs) joined the Judicial Service in 2004 as one of the first Justices of the Commercial Division of the High Court. She has been active in the core reform agenda and activities of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana (JSG) since 2005.
As part of the faculty of the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) since 2005 and a board member of the JTI since 2018, Justice Sackey Torkornoo has actively participated in initiatives to enhance the learning of Judges through awareness of distinctions between judicial skills, the social context of judicial work and core black letter law. This work has included being a trainer of trainers, the development of a curriculum for teaching Judicial Ethics, a manual for training in Judicial Ethics, and the lacing of applications of ethical principles into the daily routines of Judges.
Though being a constant trainer in Judicial Ethics, she has worked to motivate Judges to aspire to excellence through the development of research and writing skills, case and courtroom management, as well as the application of judicial ethics in their work and private lives.
After assuming the chair of the Editorial Committee for the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana in 2009, Justice Sackey Torkornoo led the publication of an annual magazine for Judges, ensuring that issues pertinent to the development of competence in the judicial career and the discharge of the Judiciary’s constitutional mandate were brought to the fore in this magazine.
She also chaired the E-Judgment Committee responsible for developing electronic research resources for Judges since 2012 and has achieved the current creation of an e-judgment research resource with keyword search-ability properties for Judges.
The leadership roles Justice Sackey Torkornoo has played in ensuring the achievement of judicial reforms include being vice chair of the E-Justice Oversight and Implementation Committee (E-Justice OC) from its inception in 2019 and chair of the E-Justice OC since August 2021.
Justice Sackey Torkornoo has served as a judicial leader in the development and oversight of several reform projects of the Judiciary involving the European Union, USAID, DFID, and collaborations with other African countries. She has also been a member of the Law Reform Commission since 2016.
Justice Sackey Torkornoo served as a member of the faculty and Governing Board of the Judicial Training Institute, vice chair of the Internship and Clerkship Committee of the Judiciary since 2012, Supervising Judge of the Commercial Division of the High Court since 2013, member and chair of the E-Judgment Committee since 2010, member and chair of the Publications and Editorial Committee of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana since 2006, and member and chair of various ad-hoc committees needed for the smooth administration of the work of JSG.
She is currently the chair of the E-Justice Oversight and Implementation Committee and her work as chair of E-Justice includes ensuring the streamlining into efficiency, the use of the Ghana Case Tracking system commenced as part of the Security Governance Initiative implemented by the Judicial Service of Ghana, Ghana Police Service, Economic and Organised Crimes Office, Ghana Prisons Service, National Signals Bureau, and Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General.
Justice Sackey Torkornoo presided over the implementation of the Business Environment Engineering Project (BEEP) funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.
Her leadership directions in that project ignited and provided the Ministry of Trade and Industry with guidance on the introduction of Users Committees into other institutions that participated in the BEEP project. The BEEP project further influenced the active development of the Business Environment Reforms being streamlined into national institutions by the MOTI.
She serves as chair of the Technical Working Group on ‘Enforcing Contracts’ set up to steer change in the business law environment. Outcomes of the work of the BEEP project within the Judiciary included the design of necessary reforms in the monitoring and evaluation of data collection currently being implemented by the Judiciary, the design of necessary reforms in the post-judgment and execution part of justice delivery, and reforms in streamlining of ADR in commercial justice delivery in Circuit and High Courts that led to the passage of High Court (Civil Procedure) Amendment Rules 2020, CI 133.
In 2010, Justice Sackey Torkornoo became the first awardee of a scholarship by the International Association of Women Judges, after a global selection process. She undertook and excelled in an LLM in Intellectual Property, International Law and Internet Law at the Golden Gate University, San Francisco where her thesis on reforming Ghana’s Copyright Law relating to Folklore and Art was published as the lead article in the University’s Annual Survey on Comparative and International Law.
In 2015, she was awarded the Women of Excellence Award in Judicial Integrity under the auspices of Ministry for Gender, Child and Social Protection.
In 2016, she was made a Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Construction.
While not compromising on the quality of her courtroom work and judgment writing, Justice Sackey Torkornoo has become noted for excellence in administrative leadership, continuing study, teaching, writing, and the judicial ethics of competence, diligence and integrity. She has served under and worked closely with four Chief Justices namely Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah (decd), Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood (Rtd), Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo (Rtd) and Chief Justice Anin Yeboah.
She was promoted to the Court of Appeal in October 2012 and to the Supreme Court in December 2019.
Justice Sackey Torkornoo had her 1978 – GCE O Level in 1978, Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast, GCE A Level in 1980, Achimota School, and proceeded to the University of Ghana where she obtained a BA- Law & Sociology in 1984. In 1986 she had a Professional Certificate in Law at the Ghana School of Law.
She has other interests such as writing Poetry, Evangelism, Plays, and Fiction. Some of the poetry and plays she has written include, 2010, ‘The Child and the Rainbow’ – Anthology of Poetry, 2010, ‘The Wise Still Hear the Birds’ – Anthology of Poetry, 2010, Blood & Roses (2016) Play, The Richest King (2017) Play, A Day For Rain (2018) (Written for Radio).
Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo was born on September 11, 1962 and is married to Mr. Francis Torkornoo, a Pharmacist, and has four daughters and three grandchildren.
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