The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Odame has commended the US government for implementing the Justice Sector Support Activity project, JSSA to enhance efficient justice delivery in the country.
Speaking at a meeting with the implementing partners of the JSSA, the Attorney General however appealed to the implementation team to address the challenge of internet connectivity, which appears to be inhibiting access to information on the Case Tracking System, CTS.
“The Case Tracking System is actually a very important institution. It ensures collaboration between the major stakeholders of the justice delivery chain. The Attorney General’s office, the judiciary, the Prisons Service and the others. A major handicap is the unreliable internet supply. Even in my office it is quite difficult to access information on the CTS and that hampers the implementation of the Case Tracking System because it is internet based. It makes it difficult to fast-track prosecution of cases.” He lamented.
On Alternative Sentencing Mr. Odame said government is pushing for the enactment of a Community Sentencing law in the interim as measures are put in place to pass a substantive law on non-Custodial Sentencing. “We first have to seek policy approval for the enactment of a law and when the approval is given we have to come back to draft it. After drafting we have to submit it for stakeholder consultation and that process is very long, it is time consuming and resource intensive as well. After the stakeholder consultation we will submit it to cabinet. Cabinet will also consider the bill and changes will be made before the Attorney General forwards it to Parliament for consideration and passage. We are therefore working on the passage of a Community Sentencing law.” He said.
He was however optimistic that the non-Custodial Sentencing bill will be passed into law before the tenure of the Eigth Parliament.
The AG was happy that the JSSA is giving attention to the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR in adjudicating disputes without resorting to long court processes.
He urged disputing parties to resort to the use of ADR which will help relieve the courts of loads of cases to deal with serious ones whiles it promotes reconciliation.
The Director of Public Prosecution, DDP Mrs. Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa said the AG will collaborate with the JSSA team to ensure efficient and effective justice delivery in the country.
She assured the team that the AG’s office is willing to share information on the CTS with the partners as far as it will lead to the speedy adjudication of criminal cases.
In 2018, the Government of Ghana with support from the government of the United States of America launched the first integrated Criminal Justice Case Tracking System (CTS) in collaboration with the Judicial Service, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the Legal Aid Commission, the Economic and Organized Crime Office, the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Prisons Service. Ghana’s CTS promotes inter-agency collaboration and information-sharing through the development of an integrated case tracking system to support the GOG in effectively investigating and prosecuting criminal cases. The CTS is operational in seven regions, namely the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Bono, Upper East, Volta & Western regions. The Justice Sector Support Activity, therefore, seeks to strengthen the Ghana Case Tracking System through citizen engagement, empowerment and amplification of citizens’ voices to demand accountability and improved justice delivery services for the Ghanaian people. The three-year activity which commenced in August 2020 supports civil society organizations to work closely with justice sector institutions and the CTS to determine the need for changes in policies, procedures, and legislation that would facilitate improvements in justice delivery while educating citizens about the CTS and its utility, how cases are tracked, reported, and how CTS allows for transparency in the management of criminal cases.