Defence Minister says it’s time to review military law

Dominic Nitiwul – Minister of Defence

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence, Friday, said Ghana needs to review its legal regime regarding the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to synchronise it with the relevant provisions of the 1992 Constitution and best modern practices.

The regime, which regulated the military justice system in Ghana, he said, predated the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution, but had not seen the necessary review that would make the laws of GAF consistent with the relevant provisions of the Constitution.

“Chapter Five (5) of the Constitution, for example, is devoted to Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of all persons, including those subject to the Code of Service Discipline,” he noted.

Mr Nitiwul was speaking at a ceremony to launch of the “Contemporary Approach to the Military Law in Ghana”, a 570-paged-book, authored by Lieutenant Colonel Binditi Chitor, an officer at the Legal Department of the Ghana GAF.

He, therefore, commended author, saying, “The well- researched book also provides guidance in the interpretation of some aspects of the military law, which need to be properly understood and applied.

“Such writings provide guidance for policy makers and researchers. I wish to assure all officers, men, women and civilian employees of the Ghana Armed Forces that, I will support the writing of books and the carrying out of research works that seek to provide pragmatic and constructive solutions to any facet of our challenges”.

Mr Nitiwul noted that the legal regime that regulated the GAF comprised of laws fragmented in Acts, Regulations, Operations Manuals, and judicial decisions, among others, and lauded the author for ‘engaging with those legal instruments in a manner that was illuminating and instructive.’

The book identifies and discusses some major challenges observed in the application of the Military laws and prescribes some amendments and legislature interventions to align them with the Constitution and other human rights compliance.

“It is not surprising to me that the book has received the endorsement of leading academicians, judges and senior military lawyers,” the Minister said.

“The book also seeks to identify pitfalls in military law in Ghana law and proffer practical solutions towards making the law robust and compliant with the constitution of Ghana.”

Mr Nitiwul also commended the Military High Command for the initiatives in recent times to review the Legal regime of GAF to make it amenable to contemporary times.

On the roles and functions, he said, a Board was inaugurated on August 2, 2018, to review some of the regulations and policies that were inconsistent with contemporary global best practices.

Source: GNA

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