Make Budgetary Allocation For Implementation Of Laws
A legal practitioner with the Legal Resources Center (LRC), Clark Noyoru, has suggested the need for the government and parliament to make budgetary allocations for the implementation of new and existing laws for their effective implementation.
Lawyer Noyoru, Project Coordinator of Justice for Children at LRC, in a recent presentation in Bolgatanga on Legislative, Policy and Institutional Gaps on Justice for Children, suggested between 2% to 10% of the national annual budget should be earmarked for the implementation of laws.
“Some of us have been advocating that, you know what? It is good to come out with laws, but don't leave the laws with the sector ministries. Come out with the budget attached. In some jurisdictions, before a law is passed, there is a budget.
“And parliament should insist that that is done. But, you will leave it with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, and they prepare their budget and go, and in Ghana, I have been in practice for a long time, about three ministries take over 80% of Ghana's budget. Three ministries, out of probably the 38 ministries, health, education, and the bottom line is that, are they [ministries] properly resourced?” he queried.
The Legal Resources Center (LRC) is implementing a justice for children project, dubbed “Justice for Children: Bridging the gap between Legislation and Practice.”
The project is part of the center's goal to influence national institutions to be more transparent, accountable, human rights-oriented, and consistent with the broad outlook of Ghana's Justice for Children Policy.
Lawyer Noyoru said, currently, there are no special provisions under the Criminal and Other Offences Procedure Act, 1960 (Act 30) or other laws to protect and facilitate the testimony of child victims and witnesses participating in criminal proceedings.
He called for appropriate guidelines in the resolution of disputes involving children within the community justice system; reforming the Child Panel system to allow the community justice for children system to operate at the community level; building synergies among operators of the community justice for the children system to address justice for children issues at the community level for better networks to the national level, and monitoring of community justice processes by probation officers and social welfare officers, and engaging in dialogue with community leaders to improve upon handling cases involving children.
According to Enock Jengre of the Legal Resources Centre, the project, with funding from the European Union, further sought to review existing child justice legislative, policy and institutional frameworks, identify gaps in these frameworks, and propose amendments to legislation or policy reforms for the promotion and protection of children who are in conflict and contact with the law.
According to Mr. Jengre, after the center was done with the regional fora, the project demanded that they met Parliament to put before it outcomes of the for a, in order to call for policy reforms; amendments of the necessary pieces of legislations that could inform the development of children in Ghana when it comes to their rights and access to their liberty.