Unreliable internet derailing electronic case tracker implementation – AG
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has appealed to implementing partners in the USAID-funded Justice Sector Support Activity Project (JSSP) to improve internet connectivity.
According to him, the electronic Case Tracking System (CTS), a project under the JSSA, can only be efficient when it is easily accessed online.
“A major handicap is the unreliable internet supply, ” he said in a meeting with the JSSA implementing partners.
“The Case Tracking System is actually a very important institution. It ensures collaboration between the major stakeholders of the justice delivery chain that is the Attorney General’s office, the Judiciary, the Prisons Service and the others”.
“Even in my office, it is quite difficult to access information on the CTS, and that hampers the implementation of the Case Tracking System because it is internet-based. It makes it difficult to fast-track prosecution of cases.” he lamented.
The AG appreciated the fact that the JSSA was giving attention to the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR in adjudicating disputes without resorting to long court processes.
He urged disputing parties to resort to the use of ADR which will help relieve the courts of loads of cases to deal with serious ones while it promotes reconciliation.
On her side, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa assured the team that the AG would collaborate with them to ensure effective justice delivery in the country.
She emphasized the AG office’s willingness to share information on CTS with partners as far as it will lead to the speedy adjudication of criminal cases.
What is the Case Tracking System
Ghana’s criminal justice delivery faces many challenges as cases are not handled promptly, and a lack of communication within the justice sector weakens efficiency during criminal prosecutions.
The CTS project was rolled out in partnership with Crime Check Foundation, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and other CSOs.
It is expected to be implemented in 40 districts in seven regions: Western, Greater Accra, Northern, Bono, Upper East, Ashanti, and Volta.
Benefits of CTS
The project will progressively scrutinize the criminal justice space positively through the following:
-development of a comprehensive design and sustainable roll-out process for the integrated case tracking system.
-Implement a testing phase and identifying the requirements for the sustainable use and expansion of the integrated case tracking system and Improve procedures and policies to strengthen change management, coordination, and communication across key justice sector institutions.
“There are so many avenues that people can seek redress, but the information is not even there in the first place, so we believe that by the time there is a comprehensive roll-out of the project, the awareness among the populace about CTS would have improved” he added.
In 2018, the government, with support from the United States of America, launched the first integrated CTS in collaboration with the Judicial Service, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the Legal Aid Commission, the Economic and Organized Crime Office, the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Prisons Service.
Ghana’s CTS promotes inter-agency collaboration and information-sharing by developing an integrated case tracking system to support the government in effectively investigating and prosecuting criminal cases.
The activity supports civil society organizations to work closely with justice sector institutions and the CTS to determine the need for changes in policies, procedures, and legislation that would facilitate improvements in justice delivery while educating citizens about the CTS and its utility, how cases are tracked, reported, and how CTS allows for transparency in the management of criminal cases.