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AG Dame dialogues with UK Deputy PM over criminal justice reform

The Deputy UK Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor, Dominic Raab on Tuesday hosted Ghana’s Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame to a bilateral meeting at his offices.

The meeting on King Charles Street discussed many matters of mutual interest pertaining to the administration of justice in the two countries.

Mr Godfred Dame was invited by the United Kingdom Deputy Prime Minister for a discussion on areas of cooperation between Ghana and the UK in the fields of justice and international law.

Mr Raab expressed his profound appreciation for Ghana’s strong support for the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), evidenced through what he described as the “powerful statement” delivered by Ghana’s Attorney-General.

Mr Dame represented the African continent at the conference on Monday at Lancaster House, as well as unequivocal statements by the President of Ghana at various international fora.

In his view, Ghana was the beacon of hope and inspiration.

The UK Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice noted the steps Ghana’s Attorney-General was making to bring reform into criminal justice delivery in Ghana and stated that same was in the right direction.

He further indicated that for the United Kingdom, similar issues relating to prison reform as well as constitutional changes, in order to make decisions from the UK domestic courts assume greater prominence following the exit of the UK from the European Union, were very pressing.

Mr Raab noted that the passage of the plea bargaining law by Ghana will tremendously ease congestion in the courts of Ghana and expressed the desire to assist Ghana in any way possible with a smooth implementation of that law, given the UK’s experience with same.

Mr Dame underscored the need to urgently reform the processes for justice delivery in criminal cases in Ghana to make it more efficient and serve the public interest.

He noted that delays in criminal justice delivery constituted the greatest problem in that regard.

He disclosed to the UK Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Secretary of State for Justice the imminence of a bill to scrap interlocutory appeals, reform the jury system in Ghana and introduce leave to appeal certain decisions into the justice system in Ghana.

Mr Dame further highlighted the steps his administration is taking to introduce an alternative sentencing regime.

In civil matters, he indicated that the capacity of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice of Ghana had to be boosted in order to be able to handle the litany of arbitration cases constantly filed against the Government of Ghana.

This was well received by Mr Dominic Raab, who affirmed the preparedness to facilitate any assistance from the UK’s Ministry of Justice as well as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The UK Deputy Prime Minister and Ghana’s Attorney-General exchanged complimentary gifts for each other and pledged their support for a closer UK-Ghana cooperative alliance which would result in an exchange of technical and other related support to both countries.

In attendance at the meeting were top officials of the UK Ministry of Justice and Alfred Tuah Yeboah, Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice, Helen A. A. Ziwu, the Solicitor-General and Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The day ended with a private dinner session hosted by Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at his residence in London.

Source: Ghana News

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