Justification for Implementing Victim-Offender Mediation in the Criminal Justice System of Ghana.

Enoch Amoah

Issue: Vol.1  No.5 September 2020  Article 1 pp. 118-130
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2020091   |   Published online 7th September 2020.
© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

30 Downloads

This study seeks to ascertain whether there are justifications for implementing Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) – a key Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process capable of solving the shortcomings of the Criminal Justice Systems of Ghana. Doctrinal approach to legal research was deployed using qualitative research method in perusing and analysing provisions of the Courts Act 1993 Alternative Dispute Resolution Act 2010, Children’s Act 1998, Domestic Violence Act 2007 and Juvenile Justice Act 2003. It also analysed literature on the use of ADR processes in criminal matters. It was found that the selected enactments with the exception of Domestic Violence Act 2007 provided justifications for implementing VOM in Ghana. The research also reveals that only offences in the categories of misdemeanor which are not aggravated in degree and offences regarded as minor offences can be referred for settlement by VOM. Further, criminal cases involving matters of public interest and those affecting the environment could not be resolved using VOM. It is recommended that the courts should take advantage of these findings to implement the use of VOM in resolving criminal cases in Ghana; the Judicial service should liaise with experts in VOM to provide training to judges and other stakeholders to enhance their capacities to implement VOM models in Ghana; and there should be sensitization of the public on the mechanics of VOM in resolving criminal cases so that a court will not appear to its audience as compromising the criminal justice system when it refers criminal cases for settlement by VOM.

Keywords: Victim Offender Mediation, justification, implementation

Constitution and Statutes
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Act 2010 (Act 798).
Children’s Act 1998 (Act 560).
Courts Act 1993 (Act 459).
Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).
Juvenile Justice Act 2007 (Act 732).

Cases
Eric Asante v. The Republic, CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. J3/7/2013 (SC, 2017).
Frimpong v. Republic [2013] 42 M.L.R. 1.

Articles, Books and Other Literature
Agyemfra, Emmanuel. “Ghana Prisons Service Council unveils 2015/2016 Annual Report on Project Efiase”, Ghana Web. September 6, 2016. Accessed November 11, 2017. https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ghana-Prisons-Service-Council-unveils-2015-2016-Annual-Report-on-Project-Efiase-467743

Ames, Jessica C. Restorative Justice: Including Victims, Offenders and Communities in Criminal Justice Dialogue (Smith College, 2007).

Ansah, Marian Efe. “Help Decongest Prisons-CJ to Judges”, Citifmonline.Com, February 23, 2015. Accessed March 07, 2020. http://citifmonline.com/2015/02/23/help-decongest-prisons-cj-to-judges/#sthash.wV51iCOp.dpuf.

Bellard Jan, ‘Victim-Offender Mediation’, The Community Mediator. Fall 2000. Accessed July 14,2020. https://www.mediate.com/nafcm/docs/The%20Community%20Mediator%20fall%202000.pdf

Bless C. and Higson-Smith C., Fundamentals of social research methods: An African perspective. 2nd ed.Kenwyn: Juta,1995.

Bright, Christopher. “PROGRAMS Victim Offender Mediation” in “VOMA Quarterly, Victim-Offender Mediation: The State of Art, (Noting the Humble beginning of Victim-Offender Mediation.)” Accessed December 12, 2018. http://www.vorp.com/articles/art.html

Carmel Benjamin A. M. Victoria, “Why is Victim/Offender Mediation Called Restorative Justice?” (A paper presented at the Restoration for Victims of Crime Conference, Australian Institute of Criminology in Conjunction with Victims Referral and Assistance Service Melbourne, September, 1999).

Creswell, J.W. Qualitative inquiry and research design; Choosing among five traditions. Sage Publications, 1998.

Dudovskiy, J., “Interpretivism (interpretivist) Research Philosophy” Research Methodology. Accessed September 12, 2017. https://research-methodology.net/research-philosophy/interpretivism/

Garner, Bryan A. (ed.), Black Law Dictionary (9th ed.).

Ghana Prisons Service, “Inmate Statistics.” Accessed November 11, 2017. www.ghanaprisons.gov.gh/statistics.html.

Korang, Daniel. Criminal Prosecution in Ghana: Practice and Procedure (UPK Printing Press, Kumasi 2017) 645 – 121.

Labane, Aaron. ‘Offender Classification as a Rehabilitation Tool’ (MA in the Subject Penology Thesis, University of South Africa, 2012), 339-14.

POS FOUNDATION, “Justice for all programme for Remand Prisoners.” Accessed July 14, 2016. http://posfoundation.org/justice-for-all-programme-for-remand-prisoners/

Posner R. A., “The Decline of Law as an Autonomous Discipline: 1962-1987” 100 Harvard Law Review (1987): 761, 762. https://doi.org/10.2307/1341093

_______. “The Present Situation in Legal Scholarship” 90 Yale Law Journal (1980): 1113.

Sale, J. E., Lohfeld, L. H., & Brazil, K. (2002). Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research. Quality & quantity, 36(1), 43–53. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1014301607592

Taylor R.B., Research methods in criminal justice (1994, McGraw-Hill, New York).

Umbreit, Mark, Coates, Robert B., Vos, Betty. “The Impact of Victim-Offender Mediation: Two Decades of Research”, Victim-Offender Mediation, Federal Probation, December, 2001.
_______. “Victim-Offender Mediation and Dialogue” in Dialogue-Driven Victim-Offender Mediation Training Manual A Composite Collection of Training Resource Materials.

Umbreit, Mark. “Restorative Justice Through Victim Offender Mediation: A Multi-Site Assessment” Part 2 Western Criminology Review 1 (1) (1998). Accessed November, 2017.

Enoch Kwabena Amoah Esq., is an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of Wisconsin International University College, Feyiase, Ghana. He holds a Master of Laws degree and is also a Barrister and Solicitor of Law in the Republic of Ghana. He is an associate of Minkah-Premo & Co. legal firm in Kumasi, Ghana and a Chief of Ekumfi Akwakrom in the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana with stool name NANA AKWA III.
Email: enochkamoah@yahoo.com

Amoah, Enoch, “Justification for Implementing Victim-Offender Mediation in the Criminal Justice System of Ghana.” E-Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 1, no.5 (2020): 117-130 https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2020091

© 2020 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).