General News of Saturday, 20 October 2018
The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his administration is determined to promote the rights of all Ghanaian citizens in the spirit of the constitution.
He said the government is also committed to work tirelessly to address the legislature and policy loopholes in the justice delivery system of the country.
Addressing attendees of the Awards Dinner in Celebration of 10years of the Justice For All Programme (JFAP), held under the theme: “JFAP – A Unique Model for Fair Trial and Prisons Decongestion; Achievements, Challenges and Prospects”, President Akufo Addo, quoting the 35th President of the United States of America, J.F. Kennedy said ” The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened”.
He said Ghana “cannot be a nation were some are under the shed of freedom and justice while others are rid of its protective shade”.
To this end, the President said it is the desire of the government to ensure that every Ghanaian gets equal access to the institutions of Justice in the country.
“If we are to achieve our aims of economic advancement and social progress, then we must all have equal access to the institutions of justice and the benefit of speedy, efficient and fair resolution of disputes by judicial processes” noted the President.
President Akufo-Addo commended the former Attorney General and current Minister for Railways, Joe Ghartey for establishing the “Justice For All” Programme in 2007 when he was the Serving Attorney General under President John Agyekum Kufuor’s Administration.
He expressed sincere appreciation to the former Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, for sustaining the Programme and Placing it directly under the office of the Chief Justice when she was in office.
To the sitting Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, the President registered his appreciation to her for also intensifying the operations of the programme and guiding the introduction of the first draft of the non custodial sentencing policy Bill.
Furthermore, the President appreciated the Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Clermence Honyenuga, for his coordination of the Programme.
The Judicial Service of Ghana, in collaboration with POS Foundation and DANIDA, organized the awards dinner to recognize lawyers, Judges, State and Private Institutions, Journalists and Judicial Service Staff who have in various ways contributed to the success and sustenance of the programme throughout the last ten (10) years.
The JFA Programme
The Justice for all Programme was established in 2007 by then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joe Gartey.
Its main objective is to decongest the country’s prisons and promote prisoner rights, especially, those of remand prisoners.
The programme involves the setting up of special courts at the prisons where cases of prisoners whose that meet the criteria of the programme are reviewed.
The JFAP has been beneficial to the vulnerable and poor who find themselves in detention for one reason or another and are unable to afford the legal fees and so self-represent or remain unrepresented.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as POS Foundation, Churchill, HelpLaw and the GIMPA fLaw Faculty and some public-spirited individual lawyers are the wind beneath the wings of the Programme.
Funding for the programme is received from international bodies such as the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Star Ghana, the Department For International Development (DFID), the British High Commission, the European Union among others.