By: Joyce Kantam Kolamong
About 444 criminal cases were tracked and recorded in the Northern Region in the first quarter of 2020. This figure paints a gloomy picture of the situation on the ground considering the number of criminal cases recorded and the presence of all the six justice sector institutions in the region.
The situation has been attributed to the inability of the institutions to effectively use the Case Tracking system. A Rule of Law Specialist at the Legal Resources Centre, Enock Jengre is therefore advocating for the effective use of the Case Tracking System by stakeholders to reduce delay in the criminal Justice system and provide timely access to justice as well as deepen public confidence in the justice system. Mr Jengre was speaking at a sensitisation workshop on Ghana Case Tracking system under a USAID Justice Sector Support activity in Tamale.
The case Tracking system, CTS, is an integrated system for Ghana’s criminal justice sector that has been designed, tested and piloted and is currently being rolled out in 40 MMDAs in seven regions thus Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern, Bono, Upper East, Volta and Western. It seeks to use the case tracking system to support the government to effectively investigate and prosecute criminal acts.
The CTS is improving the country’s ability to track criminal cases from their introduction into the system to prosecution of those cases in courts improving information sharing and coordination among law enforcement and judicial authorities. The CTS was Launch by the Government in 2018 with Six key Justice Sector Institutions involved which include Ghana Police, Ghana Prisons Service, Legal Aid Commission, Judicial Service, Office of the attorney General and Ministry of Justice and Economic and Organized Crime Office, EOCO. A Rule of Law Specialist at the Legal Resources Centre, Enock Jengre underscored the importance of the system adding that it will go a long way to improve the country’s criminal justice system.
“What it means is that there will be real time availability of statistical data for use by everyone especially those within the criminal justice chain. It has a timeline attached to every institution and how it gives institutions time to work on, so we encourage the users to use the system.”
Mr. Jengre indicated that when justice becomes inaccessible, the result is injustice and Injustice which leads to bitterness, anger, revolt and ultimately political and social disintegration. According to him, access to Justice is one of the fundamental principles upon which good governance rests hence, a compelling and immediate need to eliminate barriers to Access to Justice.
“So we are calling for training for officers so that can know the system well and use it, we want a Ghana where justice can be accessed freely and timely without delay, where the citizenry can have confidence in the justice delivery system.”
The sensitization workshop was attended by representatives of the six user enforcement agencies, civil society organisations, departmental heads as well as market and youth groups.
It is aimed at strengthening the advocacy of key Justice Sector Institutions to improve justice delivery and increase citizen Knowledge and Access to Justice Sector Services.