Professor Justice Crabbe Dies Aged 95

Professor Justice VCRAC Crabbe, the eminent retired Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana, died this morning (7th September, 2018) after a short illness at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. He was 95 years old.

Until his death, he was a Professor of  Law  at MountCrest University College. He had been the Foundation Rector of the College when it took off in 2011.

In mourning and as a sign of honour to this great man, all Flags at the University College are flying half-mast.

According to his family, the funeral arrangements would be announced later.

Professor Justice Crabbe was born 95 years ago in Ussher Town in Accra, in the then Gold Coast, and began his education at the Junior and Senior Boys Schools in Accra. He attended Accra Academy for the Cambridge Junior and Senior School Certificates and at the Presbyterian Secondary School, Odumase, for the preliminary Science Course to study medicine.

Chance changed course for him and instead of studying medicine, he went to London to study Economics at the City of London College Moorgate, from 1950-1952. In August 1952, he was admitted to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple to read Law. He completed the normal three-year course in two years and was called to the Bar on 8th February, 1955, having been granted a dispensation. The same year he was enrolled as a member of the Gold Coast Bar, in order to maintain his Seniority at the Bar.

 He progressed from Assistant Crown Counsel to Parliamentary Counsel, the first African to be appointed as such and ended up as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He was a Senior Instructor at the International Law Development Center in Rome, Italy.

In-between, Justice Professor Crabbe held the post of Parliamentary Counsel and Constitutional Advisor to the Uganda Government, Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat Scheme for Legislative Draftsmen for the West African Region, Southern African Region, the Caribbean Region and a Professor of Legislative Drafting at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, University of West Indies.

He was Special Commissioner to Ghana’s 1968 Constitutional Commission; Legislative Draftsman to the 1969 Constituent Assembly and drafted the 1969 Constitution. He was Chairman of the 1979 Constituent Assembly and drafted the 1979 Constitution.

He also worked with the Constitutional Review Commission of Kenya and was Leader of the group of Draftpersons who drafted the Kenya Constitution. He did work with the Zambian Constitutional Commission for the drafting of the Zambian Constitution as well as with the Fiajoe Review Commission for the review of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution. And then, with Justice Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and Justice Eso of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, to advise on the setting up of the Constitutional Court in the Constitution of South Africa.

Professor Justice Crabbe held the office of the Statute Law Revision Commissioner and revised the laws of Ghana from 1852 to 2004 in Seven Volumes.

About two months ago, Ghana’s Parliament engaged his services to set up a Legal and Drafting Department for the House. If operationalised, the Department would assist the House with counsel on internal and external issues as well as help with the drafting of bills, especially private members bill, which the House seeks to introduce.  

Among Prof. Justice Crabbe’s numerous associations, he was a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.