Ghana’s Parliament has engaged the services of legal luminary Professor Justice V.C.R.A.C Crabbe to help with the setting up of a legal and drafting department for the august House, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has announced.
The legal and drafting department, if operationalised, will assist Parliament with counsel on internal and external issues as well as help with the drafting of bills, especially a private member’s bill, which the House seeks to introduce. An office is therefore being prepared for the Professor to move in and start work.
The establishment of the department is one of the key things the Speaker wants to introduce during his tenure.
Justice Professor Crabbe, who was the foundation Rector of Mountcrest University College in Accra and currently a Guest Lecturer at the College, has vast experience in his field of work, which has taken him beyond the continent of Africa.
He was the first African to be appointed as Parliamentary Counsel in the 1950’s and went on to become a Justice of the Supreme Court. He was a senior instructor at the International Law Development Centre in Rome, Italy; a Constitutional Advisor to the Government of Uganda; Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat Scheme for Legislative Draftsmen for the West African, Southern African and the Caribbean Regions at different times; and a Professor of Legislative Drafting at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, University of West Indies.
He was also Special Commissioner to Ghana’s 1968 Constitutional Commission; a Legislative Draftsman to the 1969 Constituent Assembly and drafted the 1969 Constitution; the Chairman of the 1979 Constituent Assembly when he again drafted the 1979 Constitution; the leader of Draftpersons for the Kenya Constitution and later worked on Zambia’s Constitution.
Justice Professor Crabbe worked with Justice Bhagwati, a former Chief Justice of India, and Justice Eso of Nigeria’s Supreme Court to advice on the setting up of the Constitutional Court in the Constitution of South Africa. He also worked with the Fiajoe Review Commission to review Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
He was Ghana’s Statute Law Commissioner and revised the Laws of Ghana from 1852 to 2004 in seven volumes.