The Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah says the Justice system cannot count on the confidence of the public if stakeholders fail to work to secure and protect the rights of individuals.
He admits that though the justice system lacks the resources to execute its jobs effectively, more needs to be done to serve justice to the people.
The situation, according to the Chief Justice, “puts the public off on the perception of complex judicial processes that can be more troubled than the issues for which they sought to invoke the justice delivery system in the first place”.
He explained that the lack of trust in the justice system is consistently shown in polls and surveys that perceive officials of the justice delivery system as the most corrupt.
Justice Anin Yeboah averred that the citizens require the assurance of a justice system that is honest, fair, transparent, and accountable, else “we can’t count on the confidence of the public in our democratic system”.
He further stated that weakened public confidence means “the consent of the government cannot be procured and maintained if the public can not trust the institutions meant to protect and secure their rights”.
His Lordship, Justice Yonny Kulendi, on behalf of the Chief Justice, spoke at a sensitization workshop for stakeholders in Ghana’s Case Tracking System (CTS) in the Bono regional capital of Sunyani. It was organized by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and supported by USAID.
The workshop, aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the CTS, drew participants from the Justice Sector institutions, including the Police Service, Prisons Service, Legal Aid Commission, Attorney General’s department, and the Economic and Organized Crime Office.
Missing dockets and lack of coordination between the various justice delivery agencies remains a challenge that drags on the processes leading to problems for people who have to deal with the Justice system.
And to help address some of the unacceptable situations, the CTS was implemented in 2018.
The CTS, an activity by the Ghana Justice Sector Reforms, seeks to effectively investigate and prosecute criminal acts in Ghana by tracking cases on a centralized system.
The Chief Justice, Anin Yeboah, stressed that the CTS is expected to help operate a seamless system that tracks cases from arrest, through investigations, to prosecution, conviction, rehabilitation, and eventually, release.
“It will enhance transparency and accountability in justice delivery. And it will reduce the impact of corruption on the processes, and it will mean that never again will we have the frequent regrettable experiences of missing dockets either at the courts or police stations”.
He, however, said the CTS is only as effective as its implementation, hence, urged citizens and stakeholders to be committed to it and follow the process closely, and “demand the best from those in whose care it has been placed”.
The Public Education and Advocacy Specialist with Commonwealth Human Rights initiative, Esther Ahulu, however, expressed worry over some stakeholder’s failure to provide information to the platform, hence the workshop to make key stakeholders aware of the CTS and advocate for its effective utilization.
“The system has not been used as expected and for about 6 months, Bono Region, for example, were not recording their cases on the system, though the required equipment to aid the recording has been provided to the stations”, she explained.
She further said the presiding members from the various assemblies, CSOs, among others, most of whom people go to even before reporting a case to the police station, should advocate for the necessary resources to be given to institutions to enable the platform to work for the betterment of justice delivery in the country.
On her part, the Bono regional minister, Justina Owusu Banahene, assured of the government’s commitment to a better justice system.