An electronic system to assist Ghana’s justice delivery system to keep track of all the disparate activities of the various stakeholders has been launched in Accra by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
Known as the Criminal Justice Case Tracking System (Ghana CTS), it is designed to collect, collate and harmonise data from the Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Legal Aid Scheme and the Judicial Service in order to provide systemic and timely information to all stakeholders, from the arrest or receipt of complaint, through investigation, charging, prosecution, trial and punishment.
The execution of the project has the potential to generate immense benefits for the country in seeking to fulfill the ends of criminal law which is essential to promote peace, security and order within the society.
Speaking at the launch ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, which was also attended by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Hon Gloria Akuffo, the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, and the United States Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Robert P Jackson, Vice President Bawumia underscored the importance of a timely and efficient judicial system for the development of any nation.
“Timeliness and efficiency are essential to the survival of a modern state. For peace to be maintained among citizens, for our collective sense that we live in a good society, citizens must have reasonable faith that the courts are able to dispense justice impartially, speedily, and efficiently.
“For investors to have confidence in an economy, they must be certain that commercial disputes will be fairly and efficiently adjudicated. In sum, for the modern state, justice delayed or miscarried is the surest formula or recipe for chaos and disorderliness.
“An efficient justice system is a priceless public good” the Vice President emphasized.
Vice President Bawumia bemoaned the many bottlenecks in the justice delivery system, which creates a fertile ground for corruption and the perversion of justice, and called for high stakes buy-in from the leaders of the justice delivery system to ensure its success.
“…the capacity to track the location and status of cases has been a major problem. This, many will argue, create fertile grounds for corruption by certain individuals in each of the key steps in the justice chain. The result has been undue delays, loss of files, among others, and subsequent clogging of the criminal justice delivery system by excessive court caseloads and backlogs.
“I am informed that these challenges in turn, sadly, have led to many remand prisoners suffering from long periods behind bars before they can have their day in court. This can only exacerbate prison overcrowding which all decent citizens agree to be inhumane.”
“(But) with the activation of this Project, there will be clear and accountable tracking of cases from initiation right through to judgment,” the Vice President continued. “Users of the system will be able to assign activities and track the execution of those activities.
“This will enable the various stakeholders to keep case processing on track by identifying delays in individual cases and bringing to light major bottlenecks in the system.”
Vice President Bawumia pledged Government’s support for its success, indicating that the Case-tracking System gives further impetus to the push to place ICT at the heart of the governance and economic processes.