Ghana to pass International Criminal Court Bill- Attorney General

When finally passed, the ICC Bill will enable Ghana’s courts to try offenses recognized under the Rome Statute while the ICC also prosecutes cases where Ghana courts are unable.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has noted that the country is currently preparing an International Criminal Court Bill.

This Bill, which is currently undergoing stakeholder consultation, will enable Ghana’s courts to try offenses under the Rome Statutes.

Alternatively, the ICC Bill will create the legal framework for the International Criminal court(ICC) to also prosecute cases in circumstances where the Ghanaian courts are unable to do so.

This was revealed by the Attorney General when he gave an address at the Justice Ministers’ Conference in London, United Kingdom. 

Mr. Dame led a Ghana government delegation as the only African country present at the high-powered conference which was chaired by the UK Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor, and the Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab.

As part of the conference, there was a meeting of Justice Ministers from European countries, and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court(ICC).

The focus areas included support for witnesses; operationalizing ICC filed presence in Ukraine; support for effective use of digital evidence in trials before the Court; support in terms of collection of forensic evidence and psychological support for victims of sex and gender-based violent crimes and crimes against children.

Addressing the conference, Mr. Dame further noted that this move to adopt the ICC bill is aimed at filling a lacuna in its laws.

ICC Investigations in Ukraine and Ghana’s support

Ghana’s AG pledged the nation’s support in the investigative work of the prosecutor into the war crimes committed in Ukraine to ensure that individuals found culpable of egregious crimes in violation of the Rome Statutes are investigated and brought to book under international law.

According to him, per Ghana’s track record as being among the first African countries to ratify the Rome Statutes in 1999, it has no difficulty at all in supporting the ICC’s work in the protection of international human rights.

Mr. Dame also reiterated that it was due to Ghana’s support for the protection of global peace and security, that it did not join several African states in their passage of a non-binding resolution for a mass withdrawal from the ICC in 2017.

He admitted that owing to the nature of the investigation, there would be a need for Ghana and others to help provide witnesses with adequate security measures and assist them in obtaining medical, psychological, and other appropriate assistance.

Role of DOVVSU

Mr. Dame thus praised and recommended Ghana’s Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit(DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service for its superb performance of similar roles which he noted will effectively input into the work of the ICC.

He added that due to the kind of training and skill they have exhibited over the years, the unit will be best to assist the ICC within the countries of victims if called upon.

Ghana’s position on the Ukraine invasion

Additionally, Mr. Dame stated that Ghana has unequivocally and consistently maintained that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amounts to an unjustified violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

According to him, it was as a result of the above that Ghana voted in favor of a UN Resolution on 23rd February 2023 which demanded the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of Russian military forces from the territory of Ukraine and called for a cessation of hostilities.

Mr. Godfred Dame, as part of the visit, has also had a series of other bilateral and trilateral meetings with dignitaries such as the UK Attorney-General and the Ukrainian Prosecutor General; the Lord Chief Justice of the United Kingdom at the Royal Courts of Justice; Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon; the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice of the United Kingdom.