A Ghanaian delegation from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Judicial Service and the Office of the Attorney General has participated in a five-day exchange of experience programme in Madrid, where they met with their peer institutions and analyzed the similarities and differences between Ghana and Spain best practices, systems and experiences that contribute to improving the work processes for each country.
The mission, organised through the European Union-funded Accountability Rule of law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP), implemented by the Spanish public foundation FIIAPP, has allowedsixGhanaian High-level officials to explore about different systems developed by each country regarding the protection of human rights, the management of the public administration in the three stages ruling in Spain: Ombudsman, Administrativeprocedures and Judicial Review before the special jurisdiction and the control systems of administrative acts in the protection of the rights of citizens.
The visit was coordinated by Ms Ana Sánchez, ARAP’s Team Leader and the delegation was composed of the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr Joseph Whittal, the Director of the Administrative Justice of CHRAJ, Ms Elizabeth Kufuor, the Director of Human Rights of CHRAJ, Mr Isaac Annan, Lordship from the Justice Court of Appeal, Mr C.J Honyenuga, Ladyship from the Justice Court of Appeal, Ms Irene Charity and Senior State Attorney, Mr Vincent Nyinaku.
The Ghanaian delegation started the exchange visiting the Spanish Ombudsman, responsible for guarantee the fundamental rights and public liberties of citizens by supervising the activity of public administrations. During the meeting at the Ombudsman office, they were briefed on the Ombudsman’s structured mandate and the reach and scope of its resolutions remarking the Spanish non-binding recommendation. Moreover, they underscored the fundamental role of the media, which supports the Ombudsman’s resolutions in their reporting and analyzed the migration situation and guarantee of the rights of the migrants.
They also went to the Ministry of Justice where they discussed with its peers counterparts the organizational, structural and functional systems of the administration in Spain and Ghana and the process of digitalization and technological progress in the planned administration services in Spain.
Furthermore, the delegation was received at the Ministry of JusticebytheStateAttorney’s Office to discuss the nature, function in representing and defending the Government (“theGovernmentisourclient”). They also reviewed the study of the system of intervention of the State Attorney’s Office in administrative proceedings and administrative litigation.
The State Attorney briefed the Ghanaian delegation on the unity of criteria in the performance of the state attorney: AdvisingtheState as a public administration and its performance; RepresentingtheStatebeforethe International Courtsnotonly in Europebutalso vis-à-vis other non-European countries and International Organizations.
They ended with a session at the Office of the attorney General where they discussed the nature, function: “in defense of the rights and the legality as a whole” which is the main difference withTheStateAttorney.
The delegation also paid a visit to the specialised Courts for Contentious & AdministrativeLaw, located within the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid addressing the jurisdiction review system in Administrativelitigation and explored how these cases apply to urban settings and development, defence of historical patrimony and the protection of the environment.
As part of the agenda, theGhanaiandelegationvisitedtheSpanishNational High Court , (Audiencia Nacional) wheretheyanalysedtheEuropean Human Rights Law and the Personal Data Protectionincludingtherightto be forgotten.
The agenda of the delegation also included a visittotheSupreme Court in Spainwheretheyanalysedthe appeal for constitutional protection focus on urbanism, environment, immigration and international protection of the right to asylum. They ended up taking a guided visit to the historical building of theSupremeCourtknowingitshistorythroughit.
The Ghanaian mission concluded its agenda by visiting the Criminal division of theNational High Court. In Spain, as an example of the strategy of modernization and digitization of the ministry of Justice in Spain.