Judiciary’s Complaints Unit Receives ARAP Support

To help increase the Judicial Service’s capacity and reach in receiving and dealing with public complaints about members of the Judiciary, staff and services rendered, the European Union, EU, through its Anti-corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme, ARAP, has presented some office equipment and communication materials to the Service.

The items are meant for distribution across regional offices of the Public Relations and Complaints Unit (PRCU) to be set up, in addition to the already existing ones in Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi. They include 10 computers and their accessories, 10 Internet Routers and Uninterruptible Power Sources, nine printers and telephone sets, as well as seven sets of office furniture which will be delivered later. In addition, ARAP has printed about 975 PRCU operational guidelines already developed by the Danish International Development Agency, DANIDA, for the yet to be trained staff of these Units and members of the Judiciary.  

The EU Head of Cooperation, Mr. Zoltan Agai, who presented the items to the Judicial Secretary at a short ceremony in Accra, acknowledged the strong commitment of the Ghanaian Judiciary to deal with complaints effectively with the actual set up of 10 Complaint Units accessible to citizens across the country. He announced that ARAP’s support to the Judiciary will go beyond the Complaints Unit. “There is a work stream aimed at strengthening the capacity of Judges to deal with cases of corruption, and the other one focuses on developing a ‘web based legal library’, for which we hope to see prototype available soon” he added.

Speaking on behalf of her Ladyship the Chief Justice, the Judicial Secretary, Justice Alex B. Poku Acheampong, underscored the principles and values of the third arm of State of which integrity is key, stressing, that ‘without integrity, there can be no Judiciary’.            

This he said has been an agenda pursued with keen interest by the former Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and indeed the current Lady Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo.

The Judicial Secretary was grateful to the EU through ARAP, for the collaboration; seeking to ensure that ‘the Judiciary in Ghana operates with integrity and that issues of corruption are as much as possible, reduced to the barest minimum if not eliminated’

The Judge in charge of the Public Complaints and Court Inspectorate Unit, Justice Angelina Mornah Domakyaareh who is a Justice of the Court of Appeal assured ARAP of positive results having provided these working tools, knowing very well that as a human institution, there will be complaints.  

‘As human beings things may not go the way we want so by all means complaints will come. We know that personnel alone is not enough. With these tools, we can assure you that the turnaround time of our complaints handling will improve significantly and will even be better, with your support of establishing more complaint Units across the country’ she remarked.

The Director, Judicial Reforms and Projects, Mr. J. R. Ampong-Fosu was happy to note that the EU is still open to further areas of collaboration. He hoped other needs which fall within the EU’s mandate would be brought to the table for consideration to help improve on the quality of service the Judicial Service renders to the public. He reminded ARAP to help complete the automation package ‘by developing and installing the software to record and report on complaints or petitions so as to improve the monitoring and evaluation aspects of the PRCU’s activities.’

The ARAP support to the PRCU, valued at about 52 thousand Euros, forms part of the overall EU- Ghana cooperation agenda to support public sector reforms in the area of rule of law, accountability and anti-corruption in key institutions, starting with the Judiciary.           

Meanwhile refurbishment of the offices to be used by the PRCUs in nine regions excluding Greater Accra is being taken care of by the Danish International Development Agency, DANIDA, under its Rights to Services and Good Governance Programme, RS&GGP.

 

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