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Welcome to The Centre for Public Interest Law (CEPIL)

07:30am – 17:30pmMonday To Friday

+233-(0)30-2543580 

House No. 28, Naa Shika Lane, Haasto

This programme seeks to educate community members on their basic human rights inorder to empower them to be able to identify human rights violations and seek redress.

Round Table Conference on NO Bail Provision of the Criminal Procedure Code

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.

Round Table Conference on Property Rights of Spouses Bill

CEPIL organized a round table conference on Property Rights of Spouses Bill which is currently before Parliament. CEPIL lauds the concerns of the drafters of the Bill that there is inadequate legislation on property rights of spouses in Ghana and therefore the argent need for one. The existing legal framework that addresses the issue of property rights of spouses during marriage and on dissolution are the Matrimonial Causes Act 1971 (Act 367), Customary Law and Case Law. These legal frameworks are inadequate based on the following reasons: Lack of recognition of contribution of non-working spouse, Judges are giving the discretion to determine the interest of claiming spouses and reliance on proof of substantial contribution.
 

Even though the basis of the Bill is well founded, participants of the conference were of the view that the definition of concepts such as cohabitation, joint property, substantial contribution as there are defined in the Bill, are inadequate and are contentious. CEPIL in a memorandum forwarded the recommendations of the conference to Parliament.

Round Table Conference on Intestate Succession Bill

CEPIL organized a round table conference on the Intestate Succession Bill. Participants were drawn from Civil Society Organizations working in the area of gender and human rights promotion and protection in Ghana as well as some members from the Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs of Parliament. Despite the immense role of the PNDC Law 111 in safeguarding the predicaments of spouses and children of deceased persons who die intestate, the Law has been found to be inadequate and have been overtaken by changes in the Ghanaian family system.

CEPIL prepared memorandum and forwarded the recommendations of the conference to Parliament.

Television Discussion of the Chieftaincy Bill

CEPIL organized a television discussion on the Chieftaincy Bill to solicit the views of knowledgeable personalities on Chieftaincy issues on Metropolitan Television Station (Metro TV) in Accra.

The forum created an opportunity for Parliament and the Ministry responsible for Chieftaincy to interact with chiefs who are the direct beneficiaries of the Bill and have a better understanding of their concerns and for the chiefs to understand the content of the Bill. The forum was also to create public awareness on the Bill.  At the end of the discussion, CEPIL highlighted and compiled the recommendations from the forum and a memorandum was written to Parliament.

Paralegal Training Workshop

CEPIL and WACAM with funding support from Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (GRAP) conducted a 3 phase paralegal training for focal persons in selected communities namely, Axim, Half Assini, Prinice Town and Asanta in the Western Region of Ghana.

The training was organized to equip the paralegals with the basic knowledge of human rights and the skills necessary to identify human rights violations.  The paralegals are serve as first point of call for affected individuals and groups whose rights might be violated by oil and gas operations.

Workshop on “Social Responsibility Agreement”

Again in February 2009, CEPIL in collaboration with IIED, organized another workshop to educate participants on social responsibility agreements to enable participants know and understand the content of such agreements before signing them.  It also aimed at educating participants on their basic rights and empower them to demand such rights.  Discussions centered on the following topics:

  • Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment Programme Overview;
  • The Work of a Paralegal;
  • Social Responsibility Agreements Issues and Strategies for Advocacy;
  • Legal and Institutional Framework for the Management of Forest Resources;
  • The Rights and Responsibilities of Forest Fringe Communities.
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