Chief Justice nominee explains why birth certificate is not a proof of citizenship

The Minority demanded the written judgement before deciding on Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo as Chief Justice

A birth certificate is not proof of citizenship, the Chief Justice nominee Gertrude Torkornoo has said while reiterating the Supreme Court’s position on the document.

She stated that it is rather a record of one’s birth location.

It is recalled that the Supreme Courtin its ruling on the matter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and another vs the Attorney General, said that birth certificates could not be proof of citizenship.

“A birth certificate is not a form of identification. It does not establish the identity of the bearer. Nor does it link the holder with the information on the certificate. Quite obviously, it provides no evidence of citizenship,” the Supreme Court verdict said in part.

“In fact, as a form of Identification, it is worse than the NHIA card which was held to be unconstitutional as evidence of identification of a person who applies for registration as a voter,” the court said.

Answering questions at her vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Friday May 26, she said “Citizenship is a matter of law, nationality is a matter of law. In certain jurisdictions, being born in that place makes you a citizen of that country, [but] in our country, being born in Ghana doesn’t make you a citizen of Ghana.

“It is your relationship with your mother, it is your mother’s identity, your father’s identity, it is your lineage that determines your citizenship. So[birth certificate] is just an international requirement, we must know where everyone is born. But beyond that, your nationality is derived from that form, the evidence on that form.”


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