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General News of Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Bawumia launches new software to track Court cases

Vice President Bawumia yesterday launched a new software application that will enable the tracking of cases in the country’s courts.

The application, Criminal Justice ‘Case Tracking System (CTS),’ is designed to collect, collate and harmonise data from the Ghana Police Service, Prisons Service, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Legal Aid Scheme and the Judicial Service.

It is to provide systemic and timely information to all stakeholders, from the arrest or receipt of complaint, through investigation, charging, prosecution, trial and punishment.

The execution of the project has the potential to generate immense benefits for the country by enforcing the criminal law, which is essential to promote peace, security and order in society.

Speaking at the launch which was attended by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Gloria Akuffo and the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P Jackson, Dr Bawumia underscored the importance of a timely and efficient judicial system for the development of any nation.

That, he said, is because “timeliness and efficiency are essential to the survival of a modern state” and that “for peace to be maintained among citizens, for our collective sense that we live in a good society, citizens must have reasonable faith that the courts are able to dispense justice impartially, speedily and efficiently.”

For investors to have confidence in an economy, he noted, “They must be certain that commercial disputes will be fairly and efficiently adjudicated. For the modern state, justice delayed or miscarried is the surest formula or recipe for chaos and disorderliness,” whiles insisting that “an efficient justice system is a priceless public good.”

He thus, decried the many bottlenecks in the country’s justice delivery system, insisting that it tends to create fertile grounds for corruption and the perversion of justice.

“…the capacity to track the location and status of cases has been a major problem. This, many will argue, creates fertile grounds for corruption by certain individuals in each of the key steps in the justice delivery chain. The result has been undue delays, loss of files, among others, and subsequent clogging of the criminal justice delivery system by excessive court caseloads and backlogs.

“I am informed that these challenges in turn, sadly, have led to many remand prisoners suffering from long periods behind bars before they can have their day in court. This can only exacerbate prison overcrowding which all decent citizens agree to be inhumane.

“With the activation of this project, there will be clear and accountable tracking of cases from initiation right through to judgment,” the vice president noted with concern.

With the introduction of the CTS, he claimed, “Users of the system will be able to assign activities and track the execution of those activities.”

That, according to him, “will enable the various stakeholders to keep case processing on track by identifying delays in individual cases and bringing to light major bottlenecks in the system.”

The system has the potential to provide management of the various key sector agencies the required tools to track progress of cases, monitor the overall performance of the actors within the criminal justice sector and appropriately allocate resources, with a view to improving performance standards.

Vice President Bawumia has therefore, pledged government’s support for its success, indicating that the case-tracking system gives further impetus to the push to place ICT at the heart of governance and economic processes.