Mr Robert Tettey Nomo Jnr, Programmes Officer, Legal Resources Centre (LRC), says effective delivery of justice in the country is not only the responsibility of the mandated institutions, but also that of the citizenry.
He said often when the criminal justice system is being talked about, only key institutions such as the Police, Attorney General, Judiciary were looked at while overlooking the roles that citizens also must play as enshrined in the constitution.
Mr Nomo speaking during a USAID Justice Sector Support Activity public education workshop on access to justice with partners from the NCCE and CHRAJ in Hohoe, said citizens were required to report wrongdoers or ensure that the right was done rather than sitting unconcerned.
He said there was the need to equip people with information regarding access to justice through public education and supply of information, education and communication materials distributed to enable people know that they had rights and responsibilities.
Mr Nomo noted that within the rights of people, they would interface with the justice institutions and as they did, they needed to know what they had their rights to do and what not to do.
He said often people had their rights violated because mostly they do not know their rights, or they are in fear.
Mr Nomo said it was the expectation that the information on access to justice could be spread to empower others to be knowledgeable, which could prevent them from being abused and their rights not infringed upon.
Inter-regional Bridge Group (IBG), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Crime Check Foundation are partnering the Activity being undertaken in 40 districts nationwide.
Mr Ernest Amedior, Hohoe Municipal Director, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), speaking on the Commission’s mandate and its access to justice, noted that the Commission was mandated to educate and encourage the public to defend the Constitution, against all forms of abuse and violation.
He said the Commission was also mandated to create and sustain within society, the awareness of the principles and objectives of the Constitution as the fundamental law of people of Ghana.
Mr Amedior noted that the NCCE was also mandated to formulate, implement and oversee programmes intended to inculcate in the citizens of Ghana awareness of their civic responsibilities and an appreciation of their rights and obligations as free people.
Mr Daniel Mensah, Hohoe Municipal Director, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), noted that the Commission carried out human rights, administrative justice and anti-corruption mandates.
He said the commission, under the human rights mandate, promotes, protects and enforces the human rights of all persons living in the country.
Mr Mensah said interventions by the CHRAJ to ensure access to justice includes the ‘Justice for all’ programme, visits to prisons to see the state of prisoners and hold public education on where individuals could also seek help.