By Maxwell Ofori
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has outdoored an electronic tracking system to provide timely information to all stakeholders, from the arrest or receipt of a complaint, through investigation, charging, prosecution, trial and punishment.
The system, known as the Criminal Justice Case Tracking System (Ghana CTS), is also to assist Ghana’s justice delivery system to keep track of all the disparate activities of the various stakeholders.
The Ghana CTS is designed to collect, collate and harmonise data from the Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Legal Aid Scheme and 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.
“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.”
Speaking at the launch ceremony in Accra on Tuesday May 22, 2018, he noted: “An efficient justice system is a priceless public good.” He believes that, for investors to have confidence in an economy, they must be certain that commercial disputes will be fairly and efficiently adjudicated.
Vice President Bawumia bemoaned the many bottlenecks in the justice delivery system, which creates a fertile ground for corruption and the perversion of justice.
“…the capacity to track the location and status of cases has been a major problem. This, many will argue, creates 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 the 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.
“We remain firmly committed to the success of this project, and I can assure you that the government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will do all in its power to ensure its success and sustainability.
“A Ghana where systems work efficiently and effectively to support the activities of law-abiding citizens is the Ghana that we want, and the Ghana we must all work diligently to make a reality for the future.”
On her part, the Chief Justice, Her Lordship, Justice Sophia Akuffo, said the system contributes to a significant and major advance in the justice sector reform.
She said the CTS will raise the profile of the criminal justice system and law enforcement in Ghana to an equal level with the international communities.
However, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, said the CTS will end the difficulty in going to the notice board always to check on the case being tried.
She remarked that sometimes you go to the notice board and find out that “your case is not listed, and if it is listed, you go to the courtroom, the docket cannot be traced,” she recalled her toddling days at the bar.