By Christabel Addo,
Accra, Aug. 9, GNA –
African Ladies Lawyers (AWLA), a Non-governmental Orgainsation, has held a
stakeholder engagement with the aim to achieve workable answers on essential troubles
impacting accessibility to justice for lots of citizens.
Ms. Edna Kuma, the
Govt Director of the African Females Attorneys, in her opening statement, claimed
the conclusions to be discussed at the assembly, have been portion of the implementation of
an Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)-funded Venture on “Enhancing
Justice Delivery through Impressive Participatory Approaches” task.
She said less than the
job, AWLA monitored justice shipping and delivery less than the “Justice for All Programme”
(JFAP) in eight prisons where JFAP court docket sittings ended up mounted, and these
bundled the Ho, Koforidua, Akuse, Sekondi, Tamale, Bawku, Sunyani, Kumasi, and
These troubles, she
stated, had been discovered and compiled dependent on observations made by AWLA during
JFAP court docket proceedings, interviews with prisoners, jail officers, Condition
Lawyers and other stakeholders in justice supply under the project.
who had been drawn from the Jap, Volta, Greater Accra and the Central areas,
included officers and personnel from the Ghana Police Services, the Domestic
Violence and Victims Supports of Unit, the Commission on Human Rights and
Administrative Justice and the Legal Assist Plan.
A variety of issues that
impacted the constitutional legal rights of prisoners in remand, an overview of the
Legal Justice Program and presentations on the provisions enshrined in the
Handbook for Sensitisation and Education on the Legal rights of Accused Folks underneath
the law were being made by presenters from AWLA.
Ms Kuma said it was
not appropriate for people who crack the law or are alleged to have broken the regulation to
be remanded in prison for extended durations, until they have really been
convicted of the offence, sad to say, several weak folks in Ghana endure this
fate and are sometimes neglected in prisons incorporating to the teeming quantities of
people in the prisons.
She said when
accused folks are remanded in custody by the courts, the Law enforcement are expected
to approach their instances for listening to and in occasions wherever the accused did not
have a law firm defending them and making certain that their scenarios are mounted for
listening to, they could be overlooked and remaining in remand prison for months or yrs.
Accessibility to the
judicial method, she explained, was tough owing to the extensive and tiring lawful
processes at the courts, ignorance of the regulation and processes of the criminal
justice technique commonly.
She said other
boundaries are: the lower level of incomes of accused particular person, failure of families
failure to fulfill bail ailments, adjournment of scenarios for prolonged periods,
perceived acts of impropriety at the courts, dread of the judicial process due to
small amount of education and learning and facts, panic borne out of intimidation and
provocation from some court docket officers and the Police.
Ms Kuma reported the
JFAP has given that 2007, collaborated with the Ministry of Justice and Legal professional
Generals Division, the Judicial Company, the Police Support, the Jail
Assistance and some NGOs to decongest prisons.
She mentioned the
Programme has about the earlier 10 many years touched 3,812 inmates, attained out to
prisoners in eight out of the previousely10 areas, primary to the environment up
of a Large Court docket in the Nsawam Medium Stability Prisons to aid boost the human
rights rankings of the place.
Ms Effiba Amihere,
the Executive Secretary of AWLA, outlined other successes as the rolled out a
paperless courtroom system by the Judicial
Services known as the e-justice Programme, which has had been tailored by the JFAP as a virtual jail specific court docket sitting, regarded as the
e-Court, which was piloted in the Koforidua Prisons on December 15, 2017.
The technique, she reported,
produces an prospect for multi-stakeholder collaboration in between the Judicial
Service, the British Large Fee, the Danish International Progress
Agency, the Centre for Human Rights and Civil Liberties (CHURCIL), POS
Basis, HelpLaw Ghana, the Ghana Bar Association, the Media, legal professionals who
present professional-bono solutions and other development associates to operate together to
safeguard the rights of susceptible prisoners.
Ms Amihere reported the
e-Courtroom program was aimed at utilizing a paperless Justice for All sitting in
2018 and past and would assist all actors in the courtroom approach to access
purposes on-line, archive all JFAP information and rulings and verdicts, and
give a summary report and statistics to the Programme in various prisons throughout
on the other hand, cited some essential implementation worries of the JFAP as the endeavor
getting manufactured by some citizens including some Policemen to denigrate the
They criticized the
fact that much more normally than not when the Police arrest an unique, a
recidivist, they speedily operate to the media to say that the person was a
beneficiary of the JFAP, but in lots of conditions subsequent abide by-ups disclosed
a thing to the opposite.
They stated there has
been minimum citizen’s participation in the course of action main to the restricted
general public appreciation of the Programme, though acquiring lawyers to present professional-bono
products and services about the prisons has been demanding.
Ms Kuma urged
accused folks and their family members and pals to seek out assistance from the JFAP,
Lawful Assist Board, and other NGOs that offer you services to accused folks.