One more female joins Supreme Court…As President Akufo-Addo swears in Justice Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu
One more female, Justice Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu a Professor of law at the University of Ghana and alumna of the university has joined the supreme court of Ghana.
She has a stellar career in the world of academia and scholarship, female activism, international relations, public service and religious engagement.
With this, Justice Professor Mensa-Bonsu, becomes a 5th female member of the Supreme Court.
She joins other female colleagues, Justice Agnes M.A. Dordzie, Justice Mariama Owusu, Justice Avril Lovelace Johnson and Justice Gertrude Torkornoo on the bench.
During her swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said, “I am happy to be the President who swore her into office as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The appointment, I have no doubt, will help strengthen the development of the court’s jurisprudence and case law.”
On her part, she said “I have today taken on the onerous responsibility as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana,” she said, pledging that; “As always, I will devote my time and talents to Ghana’s call and serve her to the best of my abilities.”
The new justice of the Supreme Court is married to Mr Kwaku Mensa–Bonsu with whom they have three daughters, five grandchildren, three foster sons and three foster grandchildren.
Justice Prof. Henrietta Mensa–Bonsu attended Wesley Girls High School, for her Ordinary and Advanced Levels, then to the University of Ghana, for her Bachelor of Law (LL.B), then to the Ghana School of Law for her Professional qualifying certificate. She was called to the Bar in 1982.
She furthered to the Yale University, where she obtained a Master of Law (LLM) in 1985.
University of Ghana
Prof. Mensa-Bonsu came back to Ghana the same year she had her LLM and was employed by the University of Ghana, Legon, as a lecturer with the Faculty of Law and rose through the ranks to attain full professorship in 2002 and in 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Prof. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu has served in many roles at the University of Ghana including the immediate past Director of the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD).
Prof. Mensa-Bonsu teaches Criminal Law, Jurisprudence and Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, and serves on a number of boards of the university.
Justice Professor Mensa-Bonsu has also been involved in a number of high-level national and international assignments. She served on the Legal Committee of the Ghana National Commission on Children; represented Ghana on the Inter-governmental Meeting of Experts on the Draft African Charter on the Rights of the Child, served as member of the President’s Committee on the Review of Educational Reforms, the National Reconciliation Commission and the Ghana Police Council.
On of her high-points of her international career was her appointment as the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Rule of Law (DSRSG) in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) with the rank of Assistant-Secretary-General in 2007.
As Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Rule of Law Sector of the United Nations in Liberia for four years, she led the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission as its deputy head and also led the United Nations family on efforts to reconstruct the law-enforcement, legal and judicial sectors of post-conflict Liberia.
She has served as a Civilian Mentor to the ECOWAS Senior Mission Leadership Course training of the Civilian Component for the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), also on the UN’s Senior Mission Leadership Course.
Justice Professor Mensa-Bonsu has served as a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), and African Union Committee of Eminent Jurists on Hissene Habre Case, as well as the OAU Committee of Eminent Jurists on the Lockerbie Case.
Additionally, she has served as the Project Coordinator, Programme on Alternative Dispute Resolution Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, and the President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS). She is the third female to hold the position of President of the Academy.
The revered Professor of Law has also served as member of the President’s Committee on the Review of Educational Reforms, the National Reconciliation Commission and the Ghana Police Council as well as a member of the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission of Inquiry
Academically, Prof. Mensa-Bonsu has received awards for meritorious service such as the MaCallien Prize for the Best Graduating Student in Volta Hall (1980), McDougal Fellowship from the Yale University (1984), the Fulbright Fellowship (1991) and the ACU/UNITWIN Fellowship for Women (1994).
Others were from the Ghana Armed Forces (2012), Akuafo Hall of the University of Ghana, 2006, a Distinguished Award for Meritorious Service from the University of Ghana in 1999 and the International Association of Lions Clubs President’s Excellence Award (1998).
Currently, she serves as a Governing Council Member of the STAR Ghana Foundation which is the highest decision-making body steering the affairs of the Foundation.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme