The Chief Justice of Ghana, her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood has called for the overhauling of the nation’s criminal justice system.
According to her, the country must review its sentencing guidelines and ensure that the sentencing policies reflect efforts to build a humane society.
The criminal justice is made up of state institutions charged with upholding social control,deterring and mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts.
[contextly_sidebar id=”rj25yfeZQgCmfDdA2gd5Ms15pG601tw0″]Those accused of crime must have protections against abuse of investigatory and prosecution powers.
However the Chief Justice believes Ghana’s judiciary systems are so weak to ensure that the law deals with criminals appropriately.
“The time has come for Ghana to take a critical look at the entire criminal system and for the key stakeholders to collaboratively work hard at overhauling the entire system,”she stated.
The Chief Justice also emphasized the need for the country to pay attention to non custodial sentences to “make it possible for compensation or restitution of property and those which provide justly and fairly for community service.”
This is not the first time a major stakeholder has raised concerns over Ghana’s judiciary system.
A Judge of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, in 2014, described the criminal justice system in the country as a “time bomb waiting to explode.”
He wondered if the country would be able to withstand a revolt in the prisons that were overpopulated and dehumanising, and advocated change in the criminal justice system.
Justice Dotse made the suggestion when he chaired a symposium on the criminal justice system of Ghana organised by HelpLaw Ghana a private legal aid body, with support from the Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA).
He proposed a resort to non-custodial sentencing by judges, as that had merits in shaming perpetrators of crime and deterring them from committing further crimes.
By: Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana