GBA holds annual national confab in K’dua

President Akufo-Addo with the President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Benson Nutsukpui

President Akufo-Addo with the President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Benson Nutsukpui

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the Ghana Bar Association to employ the use of technology in the practice of law and administration of justice in the country.

According to the President, the law was not keeping pace with technology in the country and hence the aged missing docket syndrome and its implications on the justice delivery system.

He stated that for the citizenry to have confidence in the justice delivery system, it was critical for the association to ensure that they were technology inclined to enable them provide a more efficient and effective services to their clients.

The President was speaking at this year’s national conference of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) held here on the theme: ‘The impact of technology on the practice of law; to move with the changing times’.

The conference brought together members of the association from across the country to deliberate on issues concerning the association and ascertain ways to strategise itself to take advantage of the technological advancement for efficient and effective justice delivery in the country.

President Akufo-Addo revealed that to help bridge the technology gap in the country, his government brought about a number of policies among which was the E-justice case register.

“This E-justice project would ensure that relevant state institutions have access to titles of cases, offences, gender and contact details of persons involved in cases, nature of offences among others.”

That, he said, would ensure quick delivery of justice in the country, adding that it would also contribute to the citizenry having confidence in the justice delivery system.

President Akufo-Addo stated that currently, the country was bedeviled with some criminal behaviours that was causing a deficit in the application of the rule of law in the country.

“Driving recklessly, bribing the police, illegal mining, improper acquisition of permits, unlawful exports, bank and cyber fraud among others shows a malfunctioning of our laws, revealing that someone or some people looked elsewhere when they were supposed to apply the law,” he said.

He added, “The effects of lawlessness have contributed to the loss of monies of depositors of banks, collapse of buildings, roads developing potholes, loss of lives among others in the country.”

The President stated that as champions of the law who know the foundation of law and order and the foundation of an organised and progressive society, it was expedient for the members of the GBA to become national champions of a law based state whose establishment was solid enough to deal with the criminal behaviours.

“The employment of technology in the practice of law and administration of justice coupled with becoming national champions of the law would help facilitate the nation’s ability to reach its goals,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo added that it was necessary to put shoulders together and work hard for the future leaders to appreciate the contribution of the GBA to the successful development of the country.

For his part, the Acting Chief Justice, Justice Julius Ansah revealed that less than 500 lawyers have applied to be registered as users of the E-justice data project initiated by the government to infuse Information Communication Technology (ICT) products in the judiciary, adding that only 170 have also attended training required to understand the project.

He however called on the GBA to discuss ways to assist the Judicial Service to adopt to the new project in order to ensure members were technologically inclined to enable them deliver efficiently and effectively.

“Technology impartation on legal practice needs to change from time to time and we need to be technology inclined for the benefit of the administration of justice in the country,” Justice Ansah said.

The Attorney General, Miss Gloria Akuffo for her part also stated that the legal profession had been slow to the adaptation of technology contributing to the huge backlog of cases that needed to be dealt with in the courts.
She noted that adaptation of technology would ensure a transparent and efficient justice delivery system and called on the executives of the GBA to ensure that members have some level of proficiency in ICT.

Miss Akuffo reiterated her commitment to collaborate with the executives of the GBA and other stakeholders to ensure a fully automated computerised justice delivery system in the country adding, “We must embrace the technological revolution of our time.”

The National President of the GBA, Mr.Komla Nutsukpui called on the members to be mindful of the rules and regulation governing the profession and be disciplined to attract the confidence of the citizenry.

FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU-NYARKO, KOFORIDUA

 

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