Posted by / Monday 19 December 2016 / No comments

The factors that militate against Rule of Law in Ghana

Definition of rule of Law
Rule of law has two definitions, the classical meaning as proposed by A. V. Dicey and the modern definition by the New Delhi declaration in 1959 at a meeting of the International Commission of Jurists.

According to A. V. Dicey, in his classical opinion, Rule of Law means the law is supreme. In other words, the law is the highest authority of the land in the absence of which nothing else can prevail. For example, the law does not reside in the bosom of anybody.

The contemporary definition, as developed by the International Commission of Jurists states that it is the conditions, structures, institutions, processes and procedures that must exist so that the individual can enjoy his life in dignity, security and prosperity.

Role of the government
For Rule of Law to thrive in a country, the government must be willing to play ball. If a government is unwilling to compromise, it is difficult for Rule of Law to be fully realized. Some governments even refuse to comply when the courts rule that that should be the case. Under President Kuffour in Ghana, Mr. Hodary Okai was unlawfully dismissed. The man went to court and the court ruled in his favour and asked the government to reinstate him but this was not done. So the attitude of the government of the day is paramount in the true realization of Rule of Law.

Local traditions
Some societies are so attached to their customs and traditions that, it is difficult for them to away with it. These customs and traditions infringe upon the fundamental human rights of citizens but it is still practiced in the name of tradition. The Krobos of Ghana still practice puberty rites that expose the nudity of young girls who may not want to. The rites of passage for young boys in South Africa have resulted in the death of some of the initiates.

The level of illiteracy of citizens
One of the factors that prevent the full realization of the practice of Rule of Law is the high level of illiteracy of the citizens, especially in the developing world. For some citizens, Rule of Law could as well be an animal living in the forest, they just do not care. Such people do not see the reason why they should care about whether the government stays within the confines of the law or not.

Level of poverty
The general level of poverty in Ghana is so widespread that issues of bread and butter are more important to the people than the pursuit of rights in the courts of law. Besides, if they want to fight for their rights, they may not have the necessary resources to pay the legal services that it might entail.

Ghanaian attitude of giving it all to God
There is a peculiar Ghanaian attitude where they resort to putting their cases before god rather than before the judges. So no matter what you do to the average Ghanaian, he or she would say I give it to God to judge. Such attitudes do not encourage the full realization of rule of law in Ghana.

Delays in court
In Ghana, cases sent before the law courts take forever to finish. This may be due to the inadequacy of courts leading to case overload. Whatever the reason, it creates undue delay in the courts. The parties to the cases become so frustrated that they may decide to discontinue with their litigation. Such delays limit the full realization of rule of Law.

Attitude of the Ghana police
The attitude of some members of Ghana’s police service does not help practice of Rule of Law. For example, a rape victim who reports at some Police Stations get the impression from the police that she deserves it. Sometimes it takes days for finger-prints to be lifted from a crime scene. This creates the situation where some citizens do not even want to report abuses to the police. 

1. Explain five factors that militate against the full implementation of Rule of Law in Your country.

2. What five factors prevent the full realization of Rule of Law in Ghana?

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