A roundtable conference was organized on the “Bail Provisions on the Criminal Procedure Code” for Civil Society Organizations, the Police, Prisons and Attorney Generals Department. Certain amendments of the Criminal procedure Code 1960(Act 30) prohibit the granting of bail for certain offences no matter the circumstance of the case. The right to Bail is entrenched in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and indeed to the fulfillment of the enjoyment of the fundamental human right of Citizens.
These amendments appear to have fettered the discretion of Judges to grant bail in respect of certain offences. The object of the conference was to sort the views of participants and selected speakers on the Constitutionality of the amendments. Topics discussed at the conference include; “Bail, Liberty, and Constitutionality: A Separation of Powers Perspective of the No-Bail Amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code”, “Bail, the Presumption of Innocence and Liberty: A Revisit of Gorman versus the Republic of Ghana” and “Bail, Criminal Justice and Liberty: A Prosecutor’s Perspective of the No-Bail Provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code”.
Participants at the end of the conference generally agreed that the amendments by Parliament amounted to parliamentary legislation denying Judges the right to grant suspects bail which is tantamount to stealing the discretional powers of Judges and the Judiciary as a whole and thus infringing upon the rights of citizens to the enjoyment of their personal liberty.
Participants therefore recommended an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to conform with the 1992 Constitution and a possible law suit by CEPIL to test the constitutionality of the amendments to the criminal procedure code. CEPIL is researching and preparing a law suit to be instituted at the Supreme Court of Ghana to challenge the constitutionality of amendments.