LEGAL AND JUSTICE SECTOR REFORM PROGRAMME
In 2012, a Baseline Survey of the Justice Sector was conducted to provide information on the current levels of knowledge, experience and attitudes of the public to the justice sector in Ghana. The Survey identified the level of transparency and the speed of the processes and proceedings in the formal justice system as the significant issues in the sector. 228 of the 325 respondents stated that the delays associated with proceedings in the formal justice system was a major deterrent to using the system. All the reforms proposed by the Survey's respondents were aimed at improving access to and the quality of justice delivery in the formal and informal justice systems. Given this situation, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's department partnered with UNDP to develop targeted reforms aimed at improving the quality of legal service delivery. The process was initiated with intensive consultations of legal service and justice sector institutions. The critical issue identified from the consultations is summed up in the following problem statement.
Institutions within the legal service and justice sector are faced with weakened functionality as well as structural and institutional capacity challenges that have caused inefficiencies and led to low public confidence, limited accessibility, reduced quality of services, and delayed dispensation of justice especially for the vulnerable. To further Ghana's development efforts, its legal service and justice delivery system must become more efficient and effective. This can be achieved by ensuring key institutions must be better equipped to function as required. A review of these institutions revealed that they lack a consistent source of the basic tools necessary for efficient administration of their offices, while some do not have adequate structural and institutional capacity. To contribute to resolving the critical problem facing the Legal Service and Justice Sector in Ghana, this programme will contribute to an overall goal of a more accessible, fair, responsive, and accountable Legal Service and Justice Sector that is structured to provide legal services efficiently and improve access to justice. This programme does not envision sweeping reforms but will implement targeted interventions to reinforce the key legal and justice institutions in a bid to improve functionality and capacity for quality service delivery.
The strategy for the programme is to strengthen the Legal Services, the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department and Criminal Justice Sector Institutions. Thus the immediate outcomes for the programme, which contribute to the achievement of the overall goals are
- Strengthened administrative efficiency and inter-institutional collaboration of Legal Service and Justice Sector institutions by the end of 2016; and
- Strengthened technical and operational capacity of Legal Service and Justice Sector institutions by the end of 2016. These outcomes will be achieved through the implementation of the programme outputs. The Programme outputs create the enabling conditions for legal and justice sector institutions to function effectively and efficiently. Thus, the theory of change underpinning the plausible difference this programme will achieve is:
THEORY OF CHANGE Legal and Justice
If coherent administrative procedures and practices are implemented within the Legal Service and Justice Sector; coordinated frame work with consistent information sharing is established; capacities for technical, policy, and career development are strengthened; and the basic enabling tools are provided by relevant key stakeholders, the sector will perform more efficiently and effectively to engender public confidence. To achieve the first outcome, the programme will implement an electronic Case Management S y s t e m s (CMS) with defined operational procedures to establish an effective standard across the chain of institutions and the interlinked actions that lead to the delivery of legal service and justice. This output streamlines the process of managing cases and establish an integrated system with timelines and account ability measures to ensure administrative efficiency. The expected result will be a reduction in cases not prosecuted due to mismanaged documentation. To consolidate the integrated case management system, the programme will also establish a communication and coordination framework with an information sharing mechanism.
This is especially central for the criminal justice system to achieve any level of efficiency, given the number of partners working together in the sector. Clear and continual dialogue among Criminal Justice Sector Institutions will help identify synergies and better ways of working for speedier delivery of justice together. This output will contribute to effective interinstitutional collaboration of legal service and justice sector institutions. Introducing a new case management and communication system within the institutions will be a herculean task if it is done without a transparent and inclusive process to support the staff in making the requisite transitions. In recognition that these positive changes will not be achieved without institutional and staff buying the programme will manage the change process to make it inclusive. This change management output is designed to ensure staff participation in the process and the commitment needed to achieving and sustaining the intended outcomes. The final output will build capacity to monitor and evaluate performance not only of the programme but also of staff development. Thus, a functioning monitoring mechanism will be established to contribute to strengthening administrative efficiency of the Legal Service and Justice Sector institutions. Specialised training programmes will contribute to the second immediate outcome of strengthening technical development capacity by improving competencies needed to make the institutions more functional. Providing appropriate specialised training will lead to effective prosecutions and institutional efficiency. Based on consultations, this programme will explore effective and cost-efficient methods of training to ensure the enhanced knowledge and skills acquired translate to improved performance. The next output contributing to the second outcome addresses gaps in the operational and administrative frameworks of the institutions. Thus, operational capacity will be strengthened by formulating policies that support the new systems and procedures. Finally, the basic tools needed for efficient operations will be provided, as without them the institutions functionality will remain weakened and service delivery ineffective. Overall this programme will be implemented by the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department (MO JAG D). However, there will be several participating parties responsible for implementing specific programme activities. These responsible parties (RPs) are: Ghana Police Service (Legal & Prosecutions, and Investigations); Ghana Prisons Service (Legal/Remand); Judicial Service of Ghana (JS); Legal Service Civil Division (LSCD), Legal Service Legislative Drafting Division (LSLD), and Legal Service Public Prosecution Division (LSPD); and MOJAGD agencies: Council for Law Reporting (CLR); Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO); Legal Aid Scheme (LAS); and Law Reform Commission(LRC).
This document reflects the priority of the various institutions that work within the justice sector to meet the objectives set out above. The programme will be funded by the Government of Ghana (GoG) with support from Development Partners (DPs).
REFORM PROGRAMME UPDATES
The Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and the Programme Management Committees (PMCs) were inaugurated. The Programme Management Unit fully functional and operational. The number of PMU staff is now six consisting:
- Technical Advisor
- Programme Manger
- Programme Officer
- Programme Accountant
- Programme Administration Officer
The change process has been set in motion and the baseline improved by enhancing the knowledge of 150 relevant staff of partner institutions about their roles and responsibility of the reforms have been through the sensitization and awareness seminars that were held for all relevant staff across the partner institutions on September 23, 29, 30 and October 1, 2015. 158 staff participated in all four seminars. 51% female (representing 80 women) and 49% were men (representing 78 men). There were three participants (2males and 1 female) from the MoJAGD who were visually impaired. Consultants engaged to provide the following outputs:
- Develop Case Management Systems SOPs for MoJAGD and its Agencies and for the Criminal Justice Institutions (2)
- Develop Change Management Strategy (1)
- Develop Training Plan for MoJAGD and its Agencies and for the Criminal Justice Institutions (2)
Programme implementation for 2015 reviewed and planning undertaken for 2016