Article 295 - Interpretation

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(1) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires -

 "Act of Parliament" means an Act enacted by Parliament and includes an Ordinance;

"article" means an article of this Constitution;

"chief" has the meaning assigned to it in article 277 of this Constitution;

"Civil Service" includes service in both central and local governments;

"commission of inquiry" includes a committee of inquiry;

"constitutional instrument" means an instrument made under a power conferred by this Constitution;

"court" means a court of competent jurisdiction established by or under the authority of this Constitution and includes a tribunal;

"Decree" includes a Decree made by the National Liberation Council, the National Redemption Council, the Supreme Military Council or the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council or under its authority and any statutory instrument made under the authority of any such Decree;

"District Assembly" includes a Metropolitan and a Municipal Assembly;

"enactment" means an Act of Parliament, a Decree, a Law or a constitutional instrument or a statutory instrument or any provision of an Act of Parliament, a Decree, a Law or of a constitutional or of a statutory instrument;

"entrenched provision" has the meaning assigned to it in article 290 of this Constitution;

"functions" includes powers and duties;

"government" means any authority by which the executive authority of Ghana is duly exercised;

"high crime" means high crime within the meaning of article 2 of this Constitution;

"high treason" means high treason within the meaning of article 3 of this Constitution;

"judgment" includes a decision, an order or decree of the court;

"meeting" includes a period during which Parliament is meeting continually within a session;

"Minister" means a Minister appointed under article 78 or 256 of this Constitution;

"oath" includes an affirmation;

"oath of allegiance" means the oath of allegiance specified in the Second Schedule to this Constitution;

"paramount chief" means a person who has been nominated, elected and installed as a paramount chief in accordance with customary law and usage;

"public corporation" means a corporation or any other body of persons established by an Act of Parliament or set up out of funds provided by Parliament or other public funds;

"public interest" includes any right or advantage which enures or is intended to enure to the benefit generally of the whole of the people of Ghana;

"public office" includes an office the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of moneys provided by Parliament and an office in a public corporation established entirely out of public funds or moneys provided by Parliament;

"public service" includes service in any civil office of Government, the emoluments attached to which are paid directly from the Consolidated Fund or directly out of moneys provided by Parliament and service with a public corporation;

"retiring awards" includes pension and gratuity;

"Rules of Court Committee" means the Rules of Court Committee established by article 157 of this Constitution;

"Service Chiefs" includes Army Chief of Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff;

"session" means a series of meetings of Parliament within a period of twelve months;

"sitting" includes a period during which Parliament is sitting continuously without adjournment and a period during which it is in committee;

"statutory instrument" means an instrument made, whether directly or indirectly, under a power conferred by an Act of Parliament or a Decree or a Law;

"stool" includes a skin, and the person or body of persons having control over skin land;

"stool land" includes any land or interest in, or right over, any land controlled by a stool or skin, the head of a particular community or the captain of a company, for the benefit of the subjects of that Stool or the members of that community or company; and

"treason" means treason as defined in article 19 of this Constitution.

(2) In this Constitution and in any other law-

(a) a reference to the holder of an office by the term designating his office, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as including a reference to a person for the time being lawfully acting in or performing the functions of that office;

(b) references to the power to remove a public officer from his office shall be construed, subject to clause (4) of this article, as including references to a power conferred by any law to require or permit that officer to retire from the public service.

(3) Nothing in paragraph (b) of clause (2) of this article shall be construed as conferring on any person or authority power to require a Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature or the Auditor-General to retire from the public service.

(4) A power conferred by a law to permit a person to retire from the public service shall, in the case of a public officer who may be removed from office by some person or authority, other than a commission established by this Constitution, vest in the President acting in accordance with the advice of the appropriate authority.

(5) For the purposes of this Constitution and any other law, a person shall not be considered as holding a public office by reason only of the fact that he is in receipt of a pension or other similar allowance in respect of service under the Government of Ghana.

(6) A provision in this Constitution that vests in a person or authority power to remove a public officer from his office, shall be without prejudice to the power of any person or authority to abolish an office or to a law for compulsory retirement of public officers generally or any class of public officers on attaining the age specified in the law.

(7) Where power is vested by this Constitution in any person or authority to appoint a person to act in or perform the functions of an office if the holder of the office is unable to perform those functions, the appointment shall not be called in question on the ground that the holder of the office could have performed those functions.

(8) No provision of this Constitution or of any other law to the effect that a person or authority shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority in the performance of any functions under this Constitution or that law, shall preclude a court from exercising jurisdiction in relation to any question whether that person or authority has performed those functions in accordance with this Constitution or the law.

(9) In this Constitution references to the alteration of any of the provisions of this Constitution or of an Act of Parliament include references to the amendment, modification, re-enactment with amendment or modification, the suspension or repeal of that provision and the making of a different provision in place of that provision.