Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, has issued a stern warning to persons, who will attempt to railroad the newly launched Electronic Justice Project, a paperless court system rolled out by the Judicial Service.
“I will not deal kindly or lightly with any person who by any means attempts to railroad this system,” she warned.
Ms Akuffo was speaking at the launch of the $97 million project by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Law Courts Complex in Accra on Wednesday.
The E-Project is part of government E- Transformation programme that seeks to automate the existing manual filing system with the Registries of the Courts, from the filing of cases to the execution of the court’s decision.
The project wholly-sponsored by the World Bank through the Ministry of Communication would be rolled out fully among the 44 courts housed at the Law Courts Complex in Accra.
The Judicial Service of Ghana is the implementing agency and a South African firm, Messer EOH, is the Solution providers, with an American form Messer Leading Associates is playing a supervisory role.
The Chief Justice noted the E-Justice project and its desired outcome when applied would have value if the people working with it commit themselves to make it work.
She appealed to all to do away with interference and sabotage since those are the very attitudes that would kill public confidence in the system.
Ms Akuffo stressed the need to apply process integrity and security to ensure the success of the project.
The Chief Justice said the service has learnt a lot of lessons while the E-Justice was being piloted adding that the judiciary was now ready to roll out the project in Regional capitals across the country including Tema by the year 2022.
“It’s our hope and grand ambition that this programme will grow and cover every court in the country so that every citizen in this country can have the benefit of a speedy and efficient justice system,” she said.
According to her, the lower courts which constitute the backbone of the judicial process would not be left out during the period.
She was optimistic that by 2025 all the courts in the country would be connected to the project adding that the Judicial Service was holding discussions with the World Bank in that respect.
Ms Akuffo was elated the E-Project would be able to completely exorcise the twin devil of delay and misplacement of dockets that had over the years characterized the court’s system.
“With cases filed electronically, there will be no chance of loss and it will be much easier to track the progress of cases and facilitate the due compliance with rules.”
Additionally, the Chief Justice said the project would eliminate the long periods that the citizenry have to wait while seeking justice and businesses held up over court decisions thereby making it less attractive for investors and slowing the country’s economic march.
“The new system would help us to play our role as partners in development and it would also boost confidence of citizens, who will now be eager to use the court to resolve their disputes, safe in the assurance that it will not take years or be derailed by a missing docket,” the Chief Justice stressed.
Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Minister of Communications noted that the E-Justice project marked a milestone in justice delivery in the country.
Mrs Ekuful noted that building courts with nice edifice was great, stressing without technology there will not be much change.
According to the Minister, digitisation of public life and the country’s economy would improve the citizens quality of life.
She said that the request by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to be included in the E-Justice Project was receiving the needed attention.
She appealed to the stakeholders to manage the E-Justice project well since steps were being taken to secure quality network for the project’s operations.
Ms Cynthia Pamela A. Addo, Judicial Secretary said the project would promote transparency and accountability in justice delivery.
According to Ms Addo, the project would also help authorized persons to file the cases at all times.
The helplines to access the E-Justice project were given as 0302-748-120,0500-100-833,0500-109-664; firstname.lastname@example.org