Ghana: Ministry of Justice to Go Fully Digital – Minister
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has announced that his outfit is going fully digital with the operationalisation of an Integrated Information Management System (IIMS) and Digitisation project which is near completion.
When rolled out, he said the programme would facilitate a digital handling of all cases brought to the office and also result in the electronic management of records at the office.
Mr Dame revealed this in Accra yesterday at the opening of this year’s Bench Bar and Faculty Conference on the theme ‘The Survival of the Legal Profession in a Changing World.’
The Attorney General stated that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had forced a rethinking of the old ways of delivering justice to the populace.
This, he said resulted in a number of initiatives by the courts to enhance the administration of justice in a healthy environment.
He advised that the temporary innovations put in place as a result of the pandemic must be made a permanentfeature of justice delivery in the country.
In furtherance, he mentioned that it was time for the supreme courts to deliver more rulings virtually as this reduced cost, saved time and boost efficiency.
“I dare say that the time has come for the Supreme Court to reduce its caseload by prioritising the cases it hears.”
“The rules of the Supreme Court should be revised to permit in chambers dismissal of frivolous application and cases which actually constitute the bulk cases considered by the Supreme Court every year, without the necessity of a hearing in open court,” he added.
According to the Attorney General, only important cases with the potential of resulting in a change of the law should be heard by the Supreme Court, saying this would lead to efficiency in the productivity of the highest court of Ghana.
In furtherance, he advised lawyers to remain strong defenders of the independence, integrity and importance of the judiciary, rather than serving as tools for its destruction.
Mr Dame also cautioned legal practitioners in general, against riding on public emotions and utilising technology to promote chaos and violence in the country.
“Technology did not eradicate ethics, neither did it render the need for ethical compliance. It has rather increased the necessity for higher compliance with ethical standards at the bar,” he said.
The Chief Justice, Justice AninYeboah in his remarks agreed that the use of modern communication tools impacted the practice of law in “the contemporary situation in which we find ourselves.”
He also appealed to all legal practitioners to continue to work harder to reduce the delays in the country’s court system that continued to frustrate many litigants, adding that judges needed to manage cases efficiently and refrain from the extended adjournments that stretched the duration of cases unduly.
President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Yaw Boafo, in his submission underscored the need for lawyers to develop additional training skills in business and data analysis management to improve upon their knowledge because “having legal knowledge alone is not enough.”