The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Sackey Torkornoo, has expressed concern about the lack of adequate skills and resources for Judges to handle cybercrime cases and called for the adoption of relevant digital laws to assist in building the capacity of the Judiciary in this regard.
Justice Torkornoo was speaking when a delegation from the Joint Cybersecurity Committee (JCC) and the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), paid a courtesy call on her at the Conference Room of the Supreme Court Administration Block.
The delegation, led by the Director-General of the CSA, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, was to discuss with the new Chief Justice pertinent issues affecting the Judicial Service as a member of the Joint Cybersecurity Committee (JCC). The visit was part of the plan of the JCC to touch base with its members as well as other institutions to explain its activities.
The JCC, established pursuant to Section 13 of the Cybersecurity Act, 2020 (Act 1038), comprises eighteen (18) institutions mandated to collaborate with the CSA and the private sector for the implementation of relevant cybersecurity measures in the country. The Judiciary is represented on the JCC by Her Ladyship, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, Justice of the Appeal Court.
Welcoming the delegation, Her Ladyship, Justice Torkornoo commended the Judiciary for the role they play in interpreting and enforcing the laws governing the cyberspace, despite the challenges they face with regards to the ever-changing cybersecurity industry.
Touching on the state of the IT infrastructure of the Judicial Service, Justice Torkornoo expressed concerns about the lack of standardization and interoperability of IT systems and potential cyber-attacks that could undermine the integrity and availability of the Judicial Service’s infrastructure.
In his remarks, Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, who is also the Chairperson of the JCC, emphasised the need to institutionalise cybercrime and cybersecurity knowledge in the curriculum for the training of the Judiciary at the Judicial Training Institute, in particular, and legal education in Ghana, in general. In this regard, Dr. Antwi-Boasiako indicated the resolve of the JCC to support the Chief Justice to integrate cybercrime and digital evidence training into the curriculum of legal professionals in the country as a whole, noting that such an intervention will help improve the knowledge base of legal professions in cyber security as a new branch of emerging law in the country.
The Director-General of the CSA also raised concerns about the state of cybersecurity of the Judicial Service and the cyber threats targeting critical information infrastructures of the country and urged the Chief Justice to consider improving the cybersecurity posture of the Judicial Service as a key priority, in view of the Chief Justice’s vision to adopt IT systems to improve the administration of justice in the country.
The Judiciary’s representative on the JCC, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe lauded the Chief Justice for her leadership and vision to expand cybercrime and digital evidence training for the Judiciary.