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Ghana Post Digital Address: GA-018-1233

Digitalization and the Future of The Ghana Legal System

About the Speaker – Professor Richard Frimpong Oppong, FGA

Professor Richard Frimpong Oppong, FGA is a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego, USA. He was elected a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. He is called to the Ghana Bar.

He has taught and worked for academic institutions in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda. In addition, he maintains teaching and research interests in a broad range of commercial and business law subjects, such as the law of contracts, international commercial contracts, international arbitration, international trade and investment law, international business and economic transactions, sale of goods law, and conflict of laws.

Professor Richard Frimpong Oppong, FGA has published eight books (comprising four sole-authored books, two co-authored books and two co-edited books), and over 55 articles, book chapters, and book reviews. Two of his sole-authored books have been translated into Chinese. His publications include Conflict of Laws in Ghana (2021), Private International Law in Nigeria (2020), The Government of Ghana and International Arbitration (2017), Private International Law in Commonwealth Africa (2013), and Legal Aspects of Economic Integration in Africa (2011). Some of his writings have won international prizes. He is frequently cited in academic publications and has been cited in judicial decisions.

Synopsis of Lecture

As a people, we have become accustomed to enjoying the ever-increasing benefits of our technologically mediated lives. We live in a digital world, a place where engagement with digital devices, social media platforms, online commercial transactions, and work has become commonplace for many of us. The overall theme of the three lectures is that, as individuals, legal systems are not immune to the impact of digital technology or the digital world that it has created. The lectures call for the Ghana legal system to embrace digital technology to advance its functions and goals.

Lecture 1 examines the access to justice deficit in Ghana, arguing for a broader conception of access to justice and exploring the leveraging of digital technologies to create new pathways to justice in Ghana. It argues for restrictions on the advertising of legal services to be removed and for substantial investment in justice technologies.
Lecture 2 examines the skills, knowledge, and competencies that legal education institutions must provide for students, in order to enable them to practice or work in a world that is increasingly marked by digitalization. It also explores the potential of digital technology to transform the delivery of legal education in Ghana.

Lecture 3 examines how digital technology challenges the Ghana legal system’s regulatory function. It focuses on consumer protection in the digital marketplace and new working methods organised through digital labour platforms such as Uber and Bolt. It argues for statutory and judicial interventions to protect consumers and platform workers.

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