Politics of Friday, 13 July 2012
Dr Benjamin Kumbour, Minister of Justice and Attorney General has noted that government would continue to promote the rule of law and access to justice.
This he said would be done by spearheading the initiation processes and policies aimed at ensuring speedy, impartial and affordable justice for all.
He said plans government intended to implement as part of its vision to create an efficient justice delivery sector include improving case management systems of courts with scaling-up mechanisms, enhanced human resource levels, establishing the Legal Aid Scheme as an independent constitutional body and expand its mandate to include the work of a citizen’s Advisory Bureau.
Mr. Kunbour made the observation at the launch of a Baseline Survey for the Justice Sector in Ghana on Friday in Accra.
The survey was to bring key stakeholders in the sector together to conduct a rapid survey of the sector and establish protocols for networking with the consultants on the assignment in the months ahead.
He noted that government had decided to work closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the entire justice sector, to better implement reforms in the sector.
“Unless we have a firm grasp of where we want to go and where we are at the moment, the journey will not be worth traveling,” he said.
The minister stated that the engagement was timely as it would afford stakeholders an opportunity to think about where their institutions are by realising their objectives and how reforms may be phased, systematised, harmonised and coordinated in the sector.
He said an effective and efficient delivery sector was crucial for good governance and development saying, “a weak justice sector that does not offer the citizenry the needed access to justice and in which local and international investors alike have confidence, is a barrier to development”.
Mr. Kumbour expressed gratitude to the UNDP for the interest it had shown over the years in helping to improve the governance of the country, calling on other development partners to commit significant resources to the Justice and Legal sector, considering its crucial role in the development and promotion of democracy and good governance.
Mr. Kamil Kayode Kamaludeen, Country Director of UNDP mentioned that the survey would provide qualitative and quantitative information on the current levels of public and user knowledge, attitude and experiences.
He said that the engagement would identify institutional gaps and recommend strategies for building capacity to deliver justice effectively, as well as recommend indicators for monitoring and assessing access to justice by the vulnerable.
Mr. Kamaludeen pledged UNDP’s support towards efforts in ensuring effective and efficient justice delivery in the country.**