Ghanaians have been urged to take a keen interest and monitor the activities of key justice institutions to ensure efficient delivery of services to the public.
Ms. Esther Ahulu, Programme Manager at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an NGO working towards the realization of human rights, said although the country’s justice institutions were working hard, there was still the need for citizens to hold them accountable to ensure efficient service delivery.
Speaking at a training workshop for citizen monitoring groups in Kumasi, she said justice delivery in Ghana faced a lot of challenges, which included limited access, high cost, frequent delays, lack of lawyers for people on remand and the poor, as well as other several challenges.
There was therefore the need to strengthen the Case Tracking System (CTS) to be functional and effective to address some of the challenges in justice delivery in the country.
The workshop was attended by selected citizen monitoring groups drawn from the Ashanti, Western and Bono Regions of Ghana.
The CTS, Ms Ahulu said, was a software that was launched in 2018 by the government aimed at employing technological solutions to track criminal cases from inception until the time they were disposed of.
She said as part of efforts to ensure that the CTS became functional CHRI in August 2020 launched a three-year project, which focused on monitoring and sustaining the system to ensure effective service delivery.
Ms. Ahulu the “Justice Sector Support” (JSS) Activity was being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Legal Resources Center and CHRI, in collaboration with Crime Check Foundation.
The project is being implemented in 40 selected metropolitan, municipal and districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Upper East, Western, Volta and Bono regions.
It aimed at mobilizing citizens into groups to monitor targeted key justice institutions on the utilization of the CTS process and facilitate demand for its functionality, accountability and responsiveness to promote legislative and policy reform.
Ms. Ahulu mentioned the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Attorney General’s Department, Legal Aid Commission, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and Judicial Service as some of the key justice delivery institutions under the project.
She was optimistic that if the CTS worked effectively, citizens would be able to monitor every stage of a case and address lapses in the justice delivery system, especially for people who had been on remand for several years.
Ms. Ahulu implored the targeted justice institutions to make use of the CTS for expediting the delivery of cases.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr. David Adjem Agyemang, Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander, demonstrating how the system worked at the police station, said the Police was working to ensure that every person that came into contact with the criminal justice system had his or her fundamental rights protected.
He said all the targeted key justice sector institutions would continue to work to uphold the CTS despite the few constraints encountered in its operations.