UK’s Attorney-General lauds Ghana’s effort at introducing plea bargain into justice system

The newly appointed Attorney-General of the United Kingdom (UK)Michael Ellis QC has commended Ghana for her sterling track record in good governance, rule of law and efficient justice delivery.

Mr Ellis QC spoke highly of Ghana in his office at the House of Commons on Thursday, during a meeting with Mr GodfredYeboah Dame, Ghana’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

The meeting was Mr Ellis’s first shortly after he was appointed by the British Prime Minister Liz Truss. 

Mr Ellis commended President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo for the position he took on Russia’s war on Ukraine.

On criminal justice, Mr Ellis QC said he was enthused about Ghana’s efforts to reform its criminal jurisprudence through the introduction of plea bargaining. 

For his part, Mr Dame expressed his appreciation for being the first guest of the Attorney-General of England and Wales on his (Ellis’s) first day at work. 

He underscored the need for closer cooperation between his office and the office of the Attorney-General in the UK since the two offices performed similar and important roles in the administration of justice. 

Mr Dame told the UK Attorney-General of his intentions to strengthen legal aid as a tool for increasing access to justice and asked for collaboration with his counterpart in that regard. 

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice told the UK Attorney-General that there was serious discontent in Ghana about jury trials and that, he was seriously considering sponsoring a bill for Parliament to scrap the jury trial system.

The UK Attorney-General expressed his willingness to assist Ghana to ensure efficient delivery of justice in the country, noting that a strong justice system was central to good governance and development. 

Messrs Dame and Ellis QC also discussed issues concerning economic crime, reform of the criminal justice to achieve speedy and efficient delivery of justice, the application of the death penalty, and the roles of their offices in drafting legislation in their respective countries as well as other matters of mutual concern to Ghana and the UK.   

On September 5, 2022, Mr Dame delivered a speech as a special guest of Cambridge University at its 39th Annual Symposium on Economic Crime.  

Present at the meeting with the UK’s Attorney-General were the High Commissioner of the UK to Ghana, Harriet Thompson and Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, PaapaOwusu-Ankomah.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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