Supreme Court must rethink its decision on Birth Certificate not being proof of citizenship – Gyampo

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will need to reconsider its position that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship, a Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo has said.

Prof Gyampo says he finds it worrying the position taken by the Supreme Court on the document.

He said the view of the apex court on this document calls into question the relevance of the Birth and Death Registry.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, May 27, Prof Gyampo said “I am wondering about Birth and Death Registry, what will be their relevance if birth and death certificate is not proof of citizenship?

“It is quite worrying, I believe we should begin to rethink this otherwise we should scrap the Birth and Death Registry.”

On FridayMay 26 while answering questions at her vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, the Chief Justice nominee Gertrude Torkornoo said while reiterating the Supreme Court’s position on the document that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship.

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

It is recalled that the Supreme Courtin it’s 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.

Madam Torkornoo at her vetting 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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