Ghana: Digitization Will Eliminate a Lot of Corruption in the Courts - Chief Justice

The Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, has lauded Government's infusion of technology into the nation's justice delivery system, saying it will eliminate a lot of corruption in the courts.

In a speech read on her behalf by Justice Clemence J. Honyenuga, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Justice said not only will the digitisation of the courts under the E-Justice project reduce if not completely eradicate the canker, but it will also speed up the delivery of justice and ensure equity.

Justice Honyenuga delivered the address as part of activities at the closing ceremony for the 2019 edition of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Week organised by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in collaboration with actors engaged in the anti-corruption fight in Ghana, in Accra on Monday 9th December.

"As already mentioned, there is also underway the Electronic Case Management System, the E-Justice, to reduce corruption. The E-justice system, dubbed 'Paperless courts', is aimed at achieving a paperless economic, social and legal environment... and is aimed at automation and digitisation of the judicial processes. Its full implementation will bring to closure, the manual filing of processes and its attendant breeding of corruption that is inimical to justice delivery. It is currently being implemented in the courts Accra, to be expanded to the regions from 2020 onwards.

"Further, the introduction of the Ghana Case Tracking System is aimed at addressing the challenges facing the justice delivery system to support key stakeholders to collect, collate and harmonise statistical data for effective justice delivery. This is to boost the robustness of the judicial processes. All the stakeholders in the criminal justice system are part of this system which is being implemented throughout the country. It is expected to be inaugurated in the early part of 2020.

"Finally the electronic case distribution system, which is aimed at distributing cases to judges electronically has been extended to all Superior courts and Circuit courts throughout the country. This is to ensure fair, transparent and equitable distribution of cases to avoid favour, bias and corruption."

The judiciary and staff, Chief Justice Akuffo pledged, "are ready to deal with corruption wherever or whenever it is found."

Giving the closing remarks, Vice President Bawumia indicated that Government's Digitization agenda is a critical weapon in the fight against corruption

"We are putting in place digital systems to reduce the opportunities for corruption. Such measures are beginning to yield positive fruits, and we are confident that this is the way to go. With digitisation, what you are trying to do is stop corruption ex ante rather than deal with it ex post (before the fact and not after the fact)" he emphasised.

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