‘Unanimous FC’ is a term associated with Supreme Court rulings, particularly when the justices of the court delivers a full bench dismissal of political cases brought before them. An example of this is the 2020 election petition.
In September 2022, former President John Dramani Mahama cautioned against the prevalent perception of the Judiciary being politically biased. He remarked, “If people are not making jokes about politics and insinuating inducements being used to sway the hand of justice in the lower courts, they are making fun and passing comments about the 7-0 decision of the ‘Unanimous FC’.” He made these comments during a conference with NDC’s lawyers.
Responding to the ‘Unanimous FC’ label attached to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice nominee Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, on Friday (May 26), dismissed the general public’s perception that the Supreme Court has been unfair in its rulings.
Justice Torkornoo explained that when the apex court declares its decision as unanimous, it signifies that the law unequivocally supports the court’s stance. She emphasized that this does not indicate bias but rather reflects the legal position in a given case.
“Whenever you encounter a unanimous decision, it tells you that the law is firmly on the side of the court’s position. Every member of the court, in adherence to their judicial oath, cannot hold a different position. It signifies that this is what the law dictates,” Justice Torkornoo stated.
She further emphasized that judges remain apolitical while fulfilling their duties in court.
“It is unfortunate that this perception has persisted. Our work is highly technical, and sometimes people lose cases because they fail to comply with court rules, rules of evidence, or substantive legal principles. They lose the case and fail to understand why,” she explained.
“The law is complex, which is why law school is challenging. So, when people lose cases, they often wonder why and come up with various notions,” she added.
In conclusion, Justice Torkornoo clarified the meaning of a unanimous decision and highlighted the technicality of legal proceedings, emphasizing that the perception of bias within the judiciary is unwarranted.