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JusticeGhana is a Non-Governmental [and-not-for- profit] Organization (NGO) with a strong belief in Justice, Security and Progress....” More Details

Human Rights, Individual Freedoms and Democracy in Ghana- The Preventive Detention Act and After - The Present

The Present

Because of the sacrifices of Baffuor Osei Akoto and others after them, the prospects for democracy and for human rights are brighter today in Ghana. The present Constitution has provided elaborate guarantees for freedom in Ghana. We must now strive to maintain and advance the rule of law as our guarantee against any form of future dictatorship that may rear its ugly head.

Indeed, no nation can survive, let alone succeed, in the deliberate state of lawlessness. Ultimately, the Nation must re-discover its proper bearings and anchor the ship of state on the time-tested, solid foundations of legality and accountability. The countries of the world, which we regard as successful models, did not develop under the iron heels of military rule, or under dictatorship or totalitarianism. They are countries with long histories of liberal democracy. It is only in a free society that the genius of the people can flourish. It is only in a country with good governance that a sound economy can be developed and sustained. These values must be accepted by and spring from the will of the people.

In other words, having now succeeded in re-establishing for ourselves the right to constitutional, democratic rule, we must commit ourselves to defend our accepted ideals of good governance, constitutionalism and the rule of law. All the professions, but particularly the legal profession, must entrench, in their professional ethics, respect for the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights.

As a developing nation, we have had many years to define and establish our own structures of responsible government and national ideals. We can evolve our own acceptable system of government. It is true that we do not start from the proverbial tabula rasa or blank slate. We have over the years of colonial tutelage, albeit compulsory tutelage, become disciples and exponents of democratic rule. We do not have to necessarily conform to the Westminster model or the Washington paradigm. Indeed, it is primarily because of our blatant failures that we are often compared with other successful systems of government, in order to appreciate the degree of our deficiencies. We are a free people who can chart our own course of political independence, if only the military will remain in the barracks.



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