President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Wednesday launched the E-Justice project, a paperless court system aimed at computerising court processes for the efficient and effective delivery of justice in Ghana.
The E-Justice platform, the culmination of efforts that have spanned many years, is part of the Government of Ghana’s e-transform programme that seeks to automate the existing manual filing systems within the Courts’ registries.
The platform will take away the paper-based processes and record keeping that caused delays in judicial administration. It will eliminate human interface and the opportunity for fraudulent conduct and corrupt practices.
At a short ceremony at the Law Courts Complex in Accra, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the e-Justice platform was recognition that technology now permeated every aspect of human endeavour.
He said the project was an attempt to ensure that the law kept pace with technology and put an end to the age-old ‘missing docket’ phenomenon and endless litigation which had plagued the timely dispensation of justice for many years.
Noting the numerous policy measures introduced by his administration to bridge the technology gap, the President said harnessing the power of technology was critical “if we are to maintain the confidence of the Ghanaian people and shore up our nation’s reputation as a country governed by the rule of law.”
As a lawyer, who had practised in the courtroom for many years, he said he witnessed several instances of people who felt short-changed because of the cumbersome nature of the processes involved in filling cases, with some giving up on the justice system altogether.
He referred to the Judicial Oath that read, “Justice must be done to all manner of persons without fear of favour, affection or ill will, and therefore without recourse to the political, religious, or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land,” saying that the e-justice project would give true meaning to that attestation.
“This paperless Court system operates with minimum interference and if what we have seen so far, with the paperless system we use in our ports is anything to go by, then we are guaranteed greater efficiency in our justice delivery system,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said he was encouraged that in addition to the implementation, the project, training programmes were being held for members of the Judiciary and their staff, a development that would augur well for success of the project.
He admonished all actors connected with the e-Justice system to strive for excellence and to demonstrate integrity in the use of the Platform “so that anyone, Judge, Lawyer and client, who uses the platform will be confident that justice will always be delivered.”
The President urged the Chief Justice not to relent on her quest to build a first class Judiciary that bore the hallmarks of competence, fairness and independence.
He assured that government would lend boost to her vision to upgrade the physical structures of the judiciary across the country to make dispensation of justice accessible and convenient for Ghanaians.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo lauded the President’s commitment to leverage ICT to improve the justice delivery system and all other sectors of the economy in Ghana.
She also urged the Judiciary staff to apprise themselves with the new system to make the investment in the project worthwhile, and the carriage of justice acceptable to all Ghanaians.
The $97 million project, which would be replicated in all courts across the country, is wholly sponsored by the World Bank, through the Ministry of Communications, with the Judicial Service of Ghana as its implementing agency.