By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah, GNA
Tema Sept 15, GNA - A former Attorney General, Mrs Betty-mould Iddrisu, has bemourned the inequalities that blight the pursuance of justice in Ghana.
"Without justice being seen to be done; without a reduction in the anomalies we have seen in the administration of justice, justice cannot be effectively served," she said.
She made this observation during the launch of the Court Users Committee (CUC) on Friday at the Hospitality Centre, Tema, by the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA).
In a key note address, Mrs Iddrisu said "there still exist a distinctive gap between the effective delivery of justice to ordinary people and the disadvantaged, and that was worrying."
She pleaded with the judiciary to look at the several issues that affected the ordinary man, adding that, "Some of the issues are resource based, but others are everyday issues that could be addressed to make the judiciary a more friendly place for the disadvantaged in society."
Mrs Iddrisu, who was also the Chairperson of AWLA, urged members of Parliament to pass laws that were designed to protect the vulnerable in society such as the regulatory framework for the distribution of property upon dissolution of marriage, etc.
She however commended members of the Ghanaian Judiciary for their activism in gender law and gender justice and access to justice delivery in Ghana.
She praised the judiciary by saying that "if we know that there is a forum in Ghana which can address the rights of women, it's through the work of the judiciary."
She observed that AWLA took advantage of the Chief Justice, Madam Sophia Akuffo's resolve to respond to the call of citizens regarding lapses in justice delivery to form the CUC to serve as a key structure for the mobilisation and building of citizens to work with the Public Complaints and Courts' inspectorate units.
She prayed that CUC would become the institutionalized platform for fostering the ordinary citizen's engagements on critical issues of concern on the judiciary for timely redress as a way of improving justice delivery.
She informed that the CUC would set up an SMS platform for the effective communication on court services and critical issues identified among the citizenry in terms of usage of local courts.
The Executive Director of AWLA, Madam Edna Kuma, informed, during a lecture, that the CUC would comprise members of the Judiciary Service, the Police Service, Attorney General's Department, Ghana Prisons Service, Legal Aid-Scheme, Ghana Blind Union, Department of Social Welfare, Transparency International, Trade Union Congress, Ghana Association of the Disability Organizations, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ) , CSO/NGOs, Christian Council, Muslim Groups, Traditional Authorities, and Professional Associations.
She believed that this platform would be effectively used to address the issue of disadvantages that faced the vulnerable in the Ghanaian society as they sought redress from the courts.
AWLA is a non-governmental and a not-for-profit organisation which focuses on facilitating access to justice for women, children and the poor in society.
AWLA is currently on a two-year project that seeks to build positive relationships with the judicial service in Ghana.
The project, which is on the theme, "Strenghtening Civic Participation and Social Accountability in Justice Delivery," is being sponsored by STAR Ghana.