A Commonwealth Human Rights International and Public Education and Advocacy Specialist on the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity, Madam Esther Ahulu, has tasked journalists to highlight the Case Tracking System(CTS) to promote justice delivery in the country.
She urged journalists to give the same prominence, which saw the passage of the Right to Information Bill to the Case Tracking System.
Madam Ahulu said the media played a crucial role by educating the citizenry and pushing for the government to pay attention to ensure the success of the CTS.
Madam Ahulu was speaking to journalists on the sidelines during a Sensitization workshop for stakeholders on Ghana’s Case Tracking System (CTS) in Takoradi.
Highlights of the workshop included the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity, Ghana’s Case Tracking System and its Importance to Justice Delivery, the importance of CTS to Justice Delivery and Access to Justice Sector Services.
Madam Ahulu reminded media houses and journalists who filed cases in court, to find out whether such cases were loaded onto the CTS dashboard.
She said the media and stakeholders needed to draw the government’s attention to providing funding and equipment to push the CTS process forward.
Madam Ahulu also tasked individuals and Civil Society Organizations(CSO) to play an active role in the CTS from the time of the arrest to prison custody.
She said though the CTS was launched by the Vice-President in 2018, the committee or joint task force made up of six key justice institutions had been silent on the effective implementation of the CTS.
The USAID Justice Sector Support Activity is designed to engage the government to bring back discussion on the CTS to reap the benefit.
She said one major challenge, which makes the CTS more important, was the congestion in the prisons.
Madam Ahulu added that many of the people in prison were remand prisoners, whose cases have not been settled for so many years without being taken to court.
The programme, she noted, was faced with certain challenges as most of the key sectors were not using the CTS provided by the USAID government.
“Some of the institutions have packed the equipment in their cupboard and some tablets have been taken home by some officers,” she lamented.
Madam Ahulu called on the government to conduct an audit to find out the number of equipment that was sent and what they had been used for.
In a presentation, the Western Region recorded only a few cases in most of the months of 2021 on the national CTS dashboard.
Speaking on Access to Justice, Mr Brian Lotsu, Project Officer Commonwealth Human Rights International, identified some challenges in accessing justice such as the high cost of initiating or defending suits, delays in the justice delivery system and limited public knowledge about the justice sector.
Mr Lotsu also raised concerns about limited and under-resourced justice institutions such as the Legal Aid Commission.
He called for a concerted effort to streamline the justice delivery system by strengthening the Case Tracking System (CTS).