Ghana has launched a US$97-million World Bank-funded electronic justice (e-justice) system that would see the country's courts run paperless.
President Nana Akufo-Addo launched the system on 20 March2019 and said it would provide an electronic platform to automate case filing, fee assessment, online payments and execution of court decisions, among other functions.
The platform is expected to reduce the costs associated with manual execution of tasks and save time – especially with regards to court case timetables and calendar management for judges.
Users can access the web-based platform by registering through the Judicial Service website with notification of any payments sent directly to a user's mobile phone.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo said all courts across the country should be connected to the system by 2025 – and the Judicial Service, the project's implementing agency, is holding discussions with the World Bank in that regard.
By then there will be no chance of losing cases filed electronically and the progress of such cases would be easier to track to effect due compliance with rules added Akuffo
"We'll have a seamless justice administration and delivery system that will speed up considerably processes from commencement of suits up to the final appeal. Our mission is to improve case management through the expansion of ICT infrastructure and use it to change the paper-based practice to enable the use of ICT and enhance justice delivery. This is in accord with the overriding principle in the application of the rule of procedure to achieve speedy and effective justice."
World Bank records show that the call for expression for consultant services to develop the system was first made in 2011. The consultant was to study similar e-Justice system implementation in Turkey, Guatemala, UK and Australia to recommend best practices for Ghana.
A project under the Ministry of Communication, the e-justice solution was provided by a South African firm, Messer EOH while an American arm, Messer Leading Associates, played the supervisory role.