The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has urged the government to pay the needed attention to Ghana’s Case Tracking System (CTS) project, to help strengthen the justice delivery system in the country.
CTS was launched by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in 2018, with support from USAID, to ensure the country’s criminal justice sector provides information about criminal cases at every stage in the criminal justice delivery system.
It tracks cases from the beginning at the Police station or Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) through six key justice sector institutions- the Ghana Police Service, EOCO, Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, Legal Aid Commission, Judicial Service and the Ghana Prisons Service.
Also,it allows for easy and quick sharing of information on cases among justice institutions, promotes transparency and accountability.
Ms Esther Ahulu, the Programmes Manager for the CHRI, Accra Office, who made the call, said though the project was launched by the Vice President,”I hardly hear him talking about it in his speeches.
“So I want to use this platform to urge the government to pay attention to the CTS to help strengthen the justice delivery system in Ghana,” stated
She was speaking at a town hall meeting on Ghana’s Case Tracking System and Relevance of using alternative disputes resolution mechanisms in resolving cases, at Asokwa in the Ashanti Region.
It was organized by the CHRI for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), hairdressers, persons with disability and other stakeholders.
They were educated on how the CTS would improve the work of the justice sector institutions and access to justice in the country and the citizens’ role in the functionality of the CTS.
According to MsAhulu, poor communication between justice institutions had led to over population of Ghanaian prisons by remand prisoners with expired warrants.
She noted that the involvement of CSOs and other stakeholders would institutionalize and sustain the effective implementation of the CTS across the justice delivery institutions in the country.
According to her, Ghanaians were resorting to curses due to the lack of confidence in the nation’s justice delivery system.
Some of the challenges facing the justice delivery system, she said, included delays in administering justice caused by missing dockets, and the slow processing of documentation, leading to high caseloads in court among others.
He explained that CTS would provide common platform for easy tracking of cases and communication between the justice institutions.
She said, the project was launched under the theme, “USAID Justice Sector Support Activity” and had been implemented in 40 targeted Districts in seven Regions-Volta, Greater Accra, Northern, Western, Upper East, Ashanti and Bono.
CTS, she said, could be a game changer but “it needs to be strengthened to achieve the goal.”
Ms Mina Mensah, the Director of CHRI Accra Office, said the CTS sought to promote efficiency in the handling of criminal cases to ensure justice was served to citizens expeditiously.
She said the processes that citizens had to go through sometimes from their arrest till their fate were determined by the courts could be traumatic, hence the need for the CTS to improve service delivery as a result of transparency in the process.
She, therefore, called for the need to strengthen and support the CTS to be functional and effective to address the challenges in justice delivery.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI