USING TECHNOLOGY FOR ACCESS TO JUSTICE IN GHANA AND CANADA: EXAMINING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
Frimpong, Antwi Boasiako 1992-
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Access to justice is a fundamental prerequisite to the full enjoyment of rights. Sadly, the goal of ensuring that the Ghanaian justice system is structured and administered in a manner that equips the people with the knowledge, resources, and services they require to address their legal problems has remained elusive. Many proponents envision technology as a cost-saving tool that infuses the justice system with efficiency and expediency, thus rendering justice easily accessible and fair to all, especially with regard to those otherwise marginalized in the system. However, the digital divide may inhibit this potential from being realized in practice. Towards this end, this thesis assesses the impact of the digital divide on the extent to which technology could or may be used to advance access to justice in Ghana. The assessment shows a potential negative correlation between the digital divide and the diffusion rate of the technologies for access to justice, and a possible supply-usage deficit of the technology-based access to justice initiatives. Consequently, I argue for proactive policies and actions to contract the digital divide gap to increase the diffusion rate of such technologies, and the use of a digital access model for empirical studies on predicting or measuring the prospects of success or failure for technology-based access to justice initiatives. This topic is explored from a Ghanaian and Canadian perspective, with a view to identifying any lessons that could be learned by the former from the latter, or, indeed, vice versa. Canada has gone to great lengths to integrate technology into its justice system and the experience it has gained in the process may provide useful lessons for Ghana in its quest to enhance access to justice with the aid of technology.
DegreeMaster of Laws (LL.M.)
CommitteeHeavin, Heather; Buhler, Sarah; Keet, Michaela; Bouclin, Suzanne
Copyright DateOctober 2017
Access to Justice, Technology, Digital Divide