A rule of law specialist with the Legal Resources Centre, Enoch Jengre has expressed optimism that the implementation of the electronic Case Tracking System (CTS) will help curb interference from traditional authority in justice delivery.
According to Mr. Jengre, the CTS, which is a component of the implementation of the USAID Justice Sector Support Activity (JSSA), will reduce external interruptions that impede justice delivery.
He said one of those interferences is from traditional authorities who due to their personal gains would intervene in a case involving a relative.
“With the introduction of CTS, every criminal case reported at the police station will be keyed into the CTS and once those cases are keyed into the system, there are certain people who are tracking the cases reported, so once we see that a case has been pulled down, we will find out what has been the status of it.” He noted
Illustrating, the roles and limits of chiefs as provided in the constitution, the rule of law expert said that the traditional rulers are only bound to deal with issues relating to Chieftaincy. He indicated that it is out of their mandate to adjudicate matters of criminalities.
“The chieftaincy act in article 270 talks about the institution of chieftaincy in Ghana, and article 277, spells out exactly who a chief is in Ghana. Chiefs can handle matters or cause that affect chieftaincy such as the nomination, institution, enstoolment and destoolment of a chief and everything that affects chieftaincy and that is all the act talks about. So chiefs are not expected to do things that are outside their mandate, for instance when it comes to felonies, chiefs don’t have the mandate to sit on it and adjudicate, but many times, we see them try to interfere because of friendship, lineage they may want to try those cases or settle it within their setting which is inappropriate and illegal and that is what CTS will curb.” He said.
To improve information sharing and coordination in Ghana’s Justice delivery system, an electronic case tracking system (CTS) was launched in Accra in 2018.
The CTS project is funded by the USAID in partnership with Legal Resource Center, Crime Check Foundation, and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
The CTS project will be implemented in forty (40) districts in seven (7) regions; Western, Greater Accra, Northern, Bono, Upper East, Ashanti, and Volta.
The Justice Sector Support Activity
The JSSA is an intervention that seeks to reinforce efforts by the US Government to enhance Ghana’s justice delivery system by increasing Citizen Oversight and Monitoring of Criminal Cases, increasing citizen knowledge and access to Justice Sector services, and strengthening advocacy for accountability of key justice sector institutions for improved justice delivery in Ghana.