Prof. Samuel Otu Gyandoh


Born on June 2, 1933, Emeritus Professor Samuel Otu Gyandoh, Jr. hails from the royal house in Abakrampa in the Central Region of Ghana.  He was educated at Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast (1949-1954), Cambridge School Certificate (1952), and higher School Certificate (1954); University of Southampton, U.K., 1956-1960,  BA (law) Hons., 1960; and Yale University Law School, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S. (1963-1965), LL.M. (1964).  He taught constitutional and administrative law in the Business School and the Faculty of Law both at the University of Ghana, Legon, the Faculty of Law State University of Leiden, the Netherlands (from October 1976 – February 1977), and the School of Law, Temple University, Philadelphia PA, U.S.A. (from 1982 to 2002) over a professional and teaching career which covered close to 50 years.  At Legon, he held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Law and Master of Mensah Sarbah Hall.

Career, profession, main achievements and qualities

Between January 1961 and September 1962 he was a legal practitioner and lecturer in Company and Mercantile law, School of Administration, University of Ghana, Legon.

From October 1962 to January 1971 he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon.  He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1971 and associate professor in 1977.

Between 1978-1979 he served as a member of the Constitutional Commission and the Constituent Assembly which deliberated on and drafted the Constitution of the Third Republic, the 1979 Constitution of Ghana.  He also served as Chairman or Member of the Ghana Government appointed Commissions/ Committees of Inquiry, including the Commission of Inquiry Into The Affairs of the Ghana Academy of Sciences (1967-1969) and Committee on a Fitting Memorial for the Late Ex-President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, 1974.

Professor Gyandoh, Jr. was a member of the Honorable Society of Middle Temple, London (called to the English Bar in 1960) and the Ghana Bar Association.  He was enrolled as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Ghana, January, 1961.   

Professor Gyandoh, Jr. was also a Foundation Member of the National Advisory Council of Peace Corps in Ghana. 

After retirement from Temple University Law School in 2002, he practiced as a senior partner in the firm Gyandoh Asmah and Company.  He was a co-founder of the firm.

The Professor Samuel Gyandoh Award was established in 2002 by his good friend and Temple University Chancellor Peter J. Liacouras in honor of Professor Gyandoh, Jr. to provide a graduation prize for a student who is an International LL.M. candidate and who renders outstanding professional and personal service to the Law School community.

Academic research works

Prof. Gyandoh, Jr.’s main research interests were in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, and comparative legal institutions in public law.  He was the author of articles in several peer-reviewed professional journals and of several commentaries broadcast on Radio Ghana.  Additionally, he was a participant in several panel discussions on Ghana television.  He also participated actively in biennial conferences of the World Peace Through Law Center held in Washington, DC (1965), Geneva (1967), Bangkok (1969) and Abidjan (1973).

Among some of his well-known writings are the following works:

  • Co-author with John Griffiths of the renowned Gyandoh and Griffiths’ Sourcebook of the Constitutional Law of Ghana (published 1972 and 2010), a multi-volume work which remains required reading for all Ghanaian law students.
  • Read papers on “Some Legal Aspects of Peaceful Co-Existence” (Geneva, 1967); “Human Rights in Developing Nations” (Bangkok, 1969, also rapporteur of conference workshop on human rights); and “Legal Education in Africa Today, With Special Reference to Ghana” (Abidjan, 1973).
  • Contributory Essay on: “Liberty and the Courts” in Essays in Ghanaian Law, Faculty Publication, University of Ghana, 1976.
  • Editor and Chief Contributor, “Ombudsman: Protection for the Citizens,” published by Centre for Civic Education, Accra, 1971.