Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fifth and Six Weeks @ CHRAJ

OK so I am in my seventh week while writing this but I realize I have not been as constant in this blogging thing (give me a break this is my first time). Well since the world cup disappointment for Ghana, the atmosphere has been much quieter, however the Ghanaian spirit has not been lost. They are proud of their players and I support that setiment.

So back to work.

Since its inception, the Anti-Corruption Unit of CHARJ, now Anti-Corruption Department has been investigating allegations of Corruption and Abuse of power among public officials as a way of protecting the Ghanaian community against any form of corruption.

In line with this policy the Anti-Corruption Department held its pilot training program on Corruption for Anti-Corruption Officers and Investigators from Thursday 15th June to Friday 16th June 2006. The Training Program on Corruption aimed to: Increase knowledge in helping to identify Corruption, Strengthen the Capacity of the Anti-Corruption Department in handling allegation of Corruption, Consider new strategies to achieve the vision of a corrupt-free environment, Strengthen the coalition of individuals and organizations against corruption, Exchange information and ideas between Professionals, Management and Investigators. I have been developing the report for the Anti-Corruption Training, I should have it completed by the end of the seventh week which will be Friday July 7th.

I was able to visit the courts with Deputy Director of the enforcement Unit Mr. Annan. The session was uneventfull since we were in attendance just to get a date to appear in court again, it was interesting however, to see the proceedings and watch how the lawyers interacted with themselves and the Judge. The old British style court system was all apparent; the Lawyers with their black robes and funny looking white wigs, it was a site worth noting. I managed to get in a few pictures from my camera without being caught. i beleive I would have been held in contempt of the court of I had been caught (The judge did not look very amused), my coleague was given the contempt warning she was told if she laughed in court again she will get the full reward. I don't think I want to know what the full reward is. Altogether this brief trip to the courts was pretty amusing to say the least.

As part of the capacity building frenzy, the CHRAJ's Legal and Investigative Department held its own training, I was slightly releived when I found out I did not have to write a report for this training (I had not even finished the last report). In any case I must say I learn't a lot of legal jargon. Prior to the training we were given decisions on cases to read and I must say I had to read over the decisions at least three times to understand the language. Of-course it was the English language but obviously a different kind of English (Oh lord why do Lawyers love to confuse normal people????). Anyway I figured it out (I guess I graduated from college for a reason).

Well it is now the seventh week. I am still waiting to hear from the Attorney Generals Office so I can finally make my visit to them. I will start working on the internal bulletin for the month of July. I worked on a project for Ms. Bossman realting to the Effectiveness of National Human Rights Institutions; she is using some information I gathered to do a presentation at an ECOWAS (Ecnonomic Community of West African States) meeting on the Effectiveness of such institutions drawing on the Ghanaian example.

I have nearly completed the research on prostitution and will hope to present my findings to Ms. Bossman next week.

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