Accra, 22 November 2019 – The 2nd International Exchange of Experience visit took place between the 18th and 22nd November in Madrid, was one of the several accomplishments carried out by the EU-funded Accountability Rule of law and Anti-corruption Programme (ARAP), implemented by the Spanish public foundation FIIAPP, and the Ghanaian institutions, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Judicial Service and the Office of the Attorney General.
The delegation also paid a visit to the specialised Courts for Contentious & Administrative Law, located within the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid addressing the jurisdiction review system in Administrative litigation. The Head of the Chamber welcomed the delegation together with magistrates of the 10 Section that make up the Chamber.
During the meeting, the delegation examined the overall administrative system, the different cases processed by the Courts for Contentious & Administrative Law, and the systematic review of contested administrative acts. The system of contentious-administrative jurisdiction was examined and compared with the Ghanaian judicial review system. The delegation explored how these cases apply to urban settings and development, defence of historical patrimony and the protection of the environment. In this regard, particular attention was given to cases raised by citizens where environmental degradation is a result of administrative acts. The session ended evaluating the Ghanaian system of arbitration and its beneficial effects on the workload of the courts are analysed.
As part of the agenda, the Ghanaian delegation visited the Spanish National High Court where they analysed the European Human Rights Law and the Personal Data Protection including the right to be forgotten.
Likewise, the special competence of this Court of Justice in Administrative Contentious Matters in the National High Court was examined. The Chamber is also in charge of cases affecting the review of the National Commission of Markets and Competition in which the primacy of the freedom of enterprise with consumers' rights must be assessed.
In this matter, the European Union has a special interest in establishing a common and harmonized criterion among the Member States. They also explored specific case studies and the binding nature of the European Court of Justice Resolutions. Specially they analysed the right to be forgotten and the UE resolutions 2016/679, 2016/680 on personal data protection and national cases in which have been applied.
The agenda of the delegation also included a visit to the Supreme Court in Spain where they analysed the 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 the Supreme Court knowing its history through it.
The Ghanaian mission concluded its agenda by visiting the Criminal division of the National High Court. In Spain, the National High Court is the reference court (the flagship), not only because of the special significance of the matters before it in its jurisdiction but also because it is an example of the strategy of modernization and digitization of the Ministry of Justice in Spain. At the Court, they visited the Hearing Rooms (proof room ) and trial rooms to see the digital recording system of the declarations and trials and its direct connection with the procedural management system (CMS).
The Ghanaian mission also stopped at FIIAPP headquarters where they were welcomed by the Ghanaian Ambassador to Spain. They reviewed the development of the visit regarding best international practices in the fight against corruption and the promotion of the improvement of the efficiency of public administration and services that protect citizens' rights.
This international visit is one of several interactions organised by ARAP that aims to support Ghanaian public institutions by establishing international networks and exposure to international best practices. It promotes inter-institutional coordination in common areas at a national level through the Ghanaian institutions.
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The ARAP - Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme project joins the Ghanaian government's efforts to reduce corruption. This Programme is funded by the European Union Delegation to Ghana and is currently implemented by the Fundacion Internacional y para Iberoamerica de Administracion y Politicas Publicas (FIIAPP). This programme aims to promote good governance and support national reform, in order to enhance accountability and strengthen anti-corruption efforts across the country.