High cost of initiating or defending suits, limited and under-resourced justice institutions, the complexity of judicial processes, disempowerment, perverse delays in administering of justice caused by frequent adjournments, missing case dockets, slow processing of documentation due to high caseloads, high perception of corruption leading to minimal trust by the public in the Ghanaian courts, high perception of the executive and political interference in the work of the Judiciary among many others are some of the terrible challenges facing the delivery of justice in Ghana.
However, this is set to end or reduced as the Legal Resources Center (LRC) in partnership Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and in collaboration with Crime Check Foundation (CCF) is implementing the Case Tracking System (CTS) to address these challenges.
Enock Jengre is a Rule of Law expert in Ghana who works at the Legal Resources Center explained that the CTS is a system that involves the use of technology to accelerate how cases could be tried to reduce the challenges with regards to delay in case trial.
The CTS according to Mr. Jengre will also assist with available statistical data on the number of cases witnessed within a year or any period. Lack of effective collaboration and networking among the key Justice Sector Institutions resulting in over-population of Ghanaian prisons by remand prisoners with expired warrants, detention without trial and long pre-trial detention by security agencies will also be a history because the CTS brings a strong coordination among the various sector institutions (Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Attorney General’s Department, Economic and Organized Crime Office, Judicial Service and the Legal Aid Commission).
The Ghana Case Tracking System is an electronic criminal case tracking system launched by the government of Ghana in 2018 for the purposes of tracking cases that are criminal in nature.
Mr. Jengre was speaking during the training of Citizen Monitoring Groups (CMGs) in Tamale.
CMGs are a group of individuals/institutions drawn from non-state institutions including Civil Society Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), and community radio stations among others, to monitor, advocate and demand for improved service delivery within the justice space.
For the purpose of the USAID JSS Activity, CMGs have been selected from the forty (40) target districts across seven Regions with CTS presence with funding from the USAID.
Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is a non-governmental organization with significant community-based grassroots initiatives. The LRC develops human rights capacities within communities where it works so as to ensure social progress and development through the instrumentation of law, justice, development and good governance.
By: Prince Kwame Tamakloe /Tamale