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Supreme court justice becomes Ghana’s first female lay cathedral canon

Posted on: July 26, 2019 1:00 PM
Justice Sophia Adinyira at the United Nations
Photo Credit: United Nations
Related Categories: Ghana, Koforidua, UNICEF, United Nations, WCC, West Africa

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] A justice of the Supreme Court in Ghana, who has also acted as a United National Appeals Tribunal judge, Justice Sophia Adinyira, is to become the first female and lay Canon of the Cathedral Church of St Peter in the Anglican Diocese of Koforidua.

Justice Adinyira, who has been the Provincial Chancellor of the Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) in the Anglican Communion since 1993, has served under three different archbishops during her 26 years in post.  She will be installed and licensed on 1 September 2019 at the Cathedral in Koforidua.

During her years in office she has been actively involved in many justice issues from child protection and human rights to juvenile justice and human trafficking.

After graduating in law from the University of Ghana, Justice Adinyira, was called to the Ghana Bar in 1973 and worked at the Attorney-General Department until she moved to the High Court in 1989. She also served as a Judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal, sitting in New York and Geneva.

She is a member of the International Association of Women Judges and chairs the National Multisectoral Committee on Child Protection. She received a national award for her contribution towards enhancing the destiny of the Ghanaian child from the Ministry of Women and Children on the 20th anniversary of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Ghana.

She has been involved in drafting a juvenile justice policy for Ghana supported by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and UNICEF.

A frequent public lecturer both at home and abroad, Sophia Adinyira speaks out on issues, including human rights, women’s empowerment and access to justice, child protection, juvenile justice, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, constitutional review, human rights, law reform and judicial independence. She is also passionate about integrity, tackling judicial corruption and reducing delays in the resolution of disputes.

She has been actively involved in church ecumenism, having served as a vice moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, and as a member of its Central Committee from 2006 to 2013.