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General News of Thursday, 21 May 2020


Punishment prescribed under Imposition of Restrictions Act excessive – GIMPA Law Lecturer

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Criminal law lecturer and Head of the Private Law Department of the GIMPA Faculty of Law, Dr. Isidore Kwadwo Tufuor, says the punishment prescribed in the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012) as passed by Parliament and assented to by the President are excessive and disproportionate.

The learned law lecturer made the observation when he delivered via Zoom, the third lecture of the fourteen (14) week-long “Law and Ethics Web Series”, under the theme, “Covid-19 and New Crime Trends”, on Wednesday the 20th of May 2020. The online seminar is organized jointly by the African Centre on Law and Ethics (ACLE) and the African Centre of International Criminal Justice (ACICJ), both based at the GIMPA Faculty of Law.

The main provision in Act 1012 that Dr. Tufuor picks issue with is section six (6) of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012). The section states as follows:

“A person who fails to comply with a restriction imposed under the Executive Instrument issued under subsection (1) of section 2 commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one thousand penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than four years and not more than ten years or to both”.

Dr. Tufuor, contends that custodial sentence of not less than four (4) years and not more than ten (10) years is totally disproportional to the offence.

“The issue that we have to concern ourselves with is the punishment that the Statute prescribes. This is so because anytime you have the imposition of restrictions, and in this case via Act 1012, the State is essentially derogating from compliance with the civil and political rights of the people” the law lecturer said.

“To make it a crime of this magnitude where the minimum punishment is four (4) years and the maximum, ten (10) years, is just extreme”. “This is a law that has got a good motive but, the punishment attached to it in terms of its criminality is excessive” Dr Tufuor added.

Community Service Law

As an alternative to the custodial sentence in the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), Dr. Tufuor suggested that law makers in Ghana should consider passing a community service law that will empower judges to sentence offenders of the Restrictions Act to engage in community service or be placed on probation for a specified period of time.

“This is something we have to start thinking about seriously, that is having a community service law which to me gives the benefit to the State. If you wrong the society, you should come back to the society to make some repairs or some reparation” the learned lawyer suggested.

Bio Terrorism

In his submission, Dr. Isidore Kwadwo Tufuor, noted that there is a new trend of terrorism that could emerge from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and that he called “Bio Terrorism”. He explained that “Bio Terrorism” is what criminologist say is an act were an individual who is infected with a deadly virus decides to go into the midst of heavily populated communities in order to pass on the virus to unsuspecting members of the community.

“We have this new conception of the human weapon. One person that may be a carrier of viral disease can infect people on a mass scale that can kill people more than using or detonating a bomb on a particular territory. The new trend we are looking at is one person being more than a weapon, one person being more than an atomic bomb who can enter one particular country or territory and basically finish everybody. We have to learn from Covid-19, wherever it started from, now we have hundreds of thousands, millions of people infected and thousands of people dead. This is more dangerous than any biological weapon” Dr. Tufuor stressed.

The Law and Ethics Web Series

The Law and Ethics Web Series begun on Wednesday the 6th of May 2020 on the online meeting platform, Zoom at 2pm. The pending presentations on May 27, Jun 3, Jun 10, Jun 17, Jun 24, Jul 1, Jul 8, Jul 15, Jul 22, Jul 29, and Aug 5, 2020, will come on as scheduled. Interested persons may join any of the upcoming sessions by visiting the Zoom application and using the Webinar ID:848-2795-062 or

Various speakers have been lined up for the exercise by the organizers. The series is being coordinated by Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Budu, a Lecturer and Head of Law Centers at the GIMPA Faculty of Law. The 20th of May 2020 session was moderated by Maame Yaa Akyiaa Barnes, a Lecturer at the Law Department of Lancaster University Ghana, under the distinguished patronage of the Rector of GIMPA, Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, the Honorific Dean of the GIMPA Law Faculty, Justice Sir Dennis Adjei and the founding dean of the GIMPA Law Faculty, Professor Kwame Frimpong.