Global Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2319-8834


Judicial Power and Consolidation of Democracy: The Case of Ghana’s Atuguba’s Court

Edward Brenya

A special court chaired by Justice William Atuguba to adjudicate the 2012 presidential electoral dispute handed a landmark verdict to settle an electoral dispute between the New Patriotic Party, the National Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, and the Electoral Commission on 29th August, 2013. The verdict was preceded by contempt charges brought against Sammy Awuku, Ken Korankye, Stephen Atubiga, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Kwaku Boahen, and Hopeson Adorye for prejudicial and contemptuous comments. Using the concept of judicial power, this paper examines the impact of the contempt charges on the aftermath of the court’s verdict. The paper finds that the post-verdict peace and tranquility and consolidation of the young democracy witnessed in the country were partly the result of the exercise of judicial power through the contempt charges. The contempt charges that preceded the verdict quietened political commentators and party activists who could have engineered violence and instability.