We must take advantage of Covid-19 & intensify E-Justice System-CJ
The Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Anin -Yeboah, has opined that the country must take advantage of the outbreak of Covid-19 to roll out an electronic -justice delivery system across the country to enhance transparency, effectiveness and accessibility.
Speaking at the 13th Annual Chief Justice’s Forum in Koforidua on Thursday, November 18, 2021, he said the concomitant encumbrances of Covid-19 pandemic to justice delivery in Ghana present an opportunity for Ghana to fully integrate Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in justice delivery.
The event was under the theme “Justice for All Under Constitutional Rule; Making justice Delivery Accessible in a Pandemic“.
“Covid-9 has forged a whole new world -one with an increasing reliance on technology. The legal profession must therefore give us technological advancement and adapt to the times, and the Judiciary must be at the forefront of this. Admittedly, change will, however, not come suddenly but will most likely be in a gradual process,” Justice Anin-Yeboah said.
He continued “the inevitability of this change, nevertheless, means that it is necessary to adequately and continuously prepare ourselves for an ever-changing world where we must of necessity take the lead in deploying technology to ensure efficiency in Justice Delivery for our people in Ghana. A concerted effort is however required by all stakeholders in other to leverage the opportunity covid -19 presents for delivering technology-based justice delivery system into the future”.
He was pleased with the collaboration between the Judiciary and the Ministry of Communication and World Bank, to implement the e-justice system being piloted at the Law Court Complex in Accra.
But stressed the need for the country to do more.
On his part, President of Ghana Bar Association (GBA) Yaw Acheampong Boafo, pledged the commitment of the Association to use its experience in digitizing its administrative platforms and services across the country.
“It has been over 10 years and lawyers do not have access to the use of e-justice from their chambers as promised. We still have to print papers, travel to the law court complex in Accra to file processes. Lawyers have to travel to court only to be told the Judge is not sitting. Although the Project has been launched, we are aware that the programmers from Zimbabwe are yet to do an end-to-end demonstration system. We, therefore, need to assemble our own judges, lawyers, judicial administrators and paralegals and not depend on outsiders no matter how skilful they are. We need to design our systems and specify how we want the system to feel like and look like”.