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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Ghana

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on Ghana's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

Ghana has a multi-party parliamentary government with an elected President who is both chief of the executive branch and the head of state. It has a centralized government with local divisions in 11 regions. There is a single legislature that consists of the President and the National Assembly. Regional leaders report to the central government. The criminal justice system is centralized; the government has control over the courts, prisons, judges, and police. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Courts, the Inspector General of Police, and the Director of Prisons are all appointed by the government and serve the entire country. Ghana inherited the English common law tradition, and the court structure and general legal procedures reflect the English method of law. The Independence Constitution provides for writs of habeas corpus and the independence of the judiciary. Ghana has an adversarial system of criminal justice in which the offender is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The informal criminal justice system in rural towns and villages has survived both the colonial administration and post-independence administration. Currently, traditional chiefs and elders are allowed to try criminal matters in the rural villages. This report's section on crime considers the classification of crimes in Ghana as well as crime statistics. A section on crime victims addresses victims' assistance agencies and the role of victims in prosecution and sentencing. A section on police describes administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, discretion, and accountability. Other sections report on prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, prisons, and extradition and treaties. 17 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993