The Chief Justice, her Ladyship, Justice Sophia Akuffo, has reaffirmed the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana’s efforts to provide quality, efficient and accessible court services, continuously adopt the use of Information and Communication Technology.
This according to her, will ensure continuous legal education, increase transparency and accountability for the use of public resources.
The CJ, said this at a two day validation workshop for the five year strategic plan for the Judiciary and Judicial Service of Ghana for 2020-2024 in Accra.
It was organised by the Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption, ARAP, and the Judicial Service funded by the European Union.
The two-day workshop was aimed at contributing to the current reform processes to reduce corruption by improving accountability and compliance with rule of law including environmental governance.
Justice Sophia Akuffo, disclosed that the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana for the past two decades, has undergone transformation to improve its responsiveness to the citizens in accordance with its mandate under the Constitution
She stated that under the National Governance Programme, NGP, which is a ten-year transformational plan from the year 1999 to the year 2009 was developed for justice sector institutions, to create synergy and help align each institution to effectively deliver its mandate.
Justice Sophia Akuffo, noted that the Judiciary benefited support under the NGP aimed at pursuing core reform agenda such as
automation, computerization and incorporation of e-governance into administrative structures, Strategic planning, policy formulation and review of rules, regulations, procedures and processes.
The rest included Capacity building and Human Resource Development, Implementation of programmes, projects and activities to support access to justice,
She pointed out that the current plan builds upon their past successes in meeting the greater demands placed upon public servants as well as being the only institution with a constitutional mandate to interpret the laws without fear or favour.
The CJ noted that the Strategic Plan considers the position of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service in the current global sphere of modernization.
She added that other key international and national documents such as the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Long Term National Development Plan of Ghana, and the Evaluation Report of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 have been reviewed.
According to her Ladyship, this Plan will contribute to the attainment of SDG 16 which is a commitment to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels; as well as the SDG 5 for advancing gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
She reiterated that the Strategic Plan for the Judiciary and the Judicial Service of Ghana for 2020-2024 is a blueprint document which has been created by our internal experts headed by a Justice of the Supreme Court adding that; is a true product of teamwork, and also underscores the desire to deliver services that are responsive to the needs of Ghanaians.
This she noted that the services will inspire trust and confidence not only in the Judiciary but the country as a whole.
The Judicial Secretary, Cynthia Pamela Addo in her welcome address stated that the current complexity in globalization has significantly altered the modus of public services.
She noted that there is a constant pressure to be responsive to the justice needs of the citizens, to adopt computerized systems to bring more speed and efficiency to their work, to reform their processes and above all maintain their independence.
Mrs. Addo, said such expectations require that as a service adding that as an arm of government, they strategically position themselves to meet these current demands.
According to her, in 2014, the Judiciary and the Judicial Service commenced the implementation of their first five-year Strategic Plan, a document which expired in 2018.
Mrs. Addo explained that this Strategic Plan will guide the institution for the next five years, 2020-2024, drawing on the lessons and building on the strengths of the previous Plan.
She stated that the workshop is important and it will determine what the Judiciary and the Judicial Service does in the next five years in fulfillment of their mandate.
By: Paul Mamattah