About the Speaker
– Justice Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei, FGA
Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei attended Atwimaman Secondary School, Trabuom (1985) and Wenchi Secondary School (1987). He then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon (1991) where he obtained his B.A in Law and Linguistics. He holds a Master of Judicial Studies (MJS) from Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, USA (2014), Master of Laws (LLM) (Criminology and Criminal Justice) from University of London, UK (2010), Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), GIMPA (2010) and Barrister at Law (BL), Ghana School of Law (1993).
Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei is a Justice of the Court of Appeal. He is also an active law teacher. He has made a prodigious contribution to the deepening and dissemination of law in several capacities- as an eminent jurist, an outstanding scholar and a dedicated law teacher. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University of Cape Coast, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Ghana School of Law, Accra. He is former Director of the Judicial Training Institute, Accra. He is former Dean, Faculty of Law, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
He has five law textbooks being used by Law Faculties and Schools, Members of the Legal Profession and the Bench. These are Constitutional Law of Ghana; Evolution, Theory and Practice; Criminal Procedure and Practice in Ghana; Land Law, Practice and Conveyancing in Ghana; Contemporary Criminal Law in Ghana and Modern Approach to the Law of Interpretation in Ghana. On December 05, 2019, Justice Dennis Dominic Adjei is elected into Fellowship of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Synopsis of Lecture
Government and Public officers are fiduciaries and are under a legal obligation to be transparent and accountable to the people of Ghana by making available accurate, authentic, and credible information to them. The citizens of Ghana in whom sovereignty resides made the Constitution of Ghana, 1992 for themselves and ceded their powers to the Government to govern them within the limits laid down in it. Article 21(1)(f) of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992 guarantees the right to information as pertains in a democratic society as a fundamental human right.
The Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and the other organs of State were created by the Constitution either directly or indirectly to make them accountable to the people of Ghana who made the Constitution of Ghana, 1992 and to promote their welfare. A person who holds a public office or whose private organization or establishment receives public resources to perform public functions is recognized as a fiduciary and must be transparent and accountable in the discharge of that person’s mandate, and in particular to provide for authentic and credible general information to be accessed by the citizenry as is necessary for a democratic society.
The Government is also required to make available to the people general information on governance as permitted by law. The Constitution of Ghana, 1992 requires the Government, public officers, and private institutions that receive public resources to perform public functions to disclose accurate and authentic information from their offices unless it is exempted by law. Furthermore, persons who require public documents to be produced and tendered in court are permitted under article 135 of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992 except where their disclosure or production of their contents will be prejudicial to the security of the State or injurious to the public interest. To ensure that public officers do not arbitrarily refuse to produce any official document to be used or tendered in court, the Constitution of Ghana, 1992, has given the Supreme Court exclusive original jurisdiction to determine the same.
The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) was subsequently enacted pursuant to Article 21(1)(f) of the Constitution to enforce the constitutional rights of the persons to access information from public institutions, private institutions, and organizations that receive public resources to perform public functions to make information which is accurate and authentic available to the people and the grounds upon which information may not be disclosed. The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) further provides for the procedure to obtain information not exempted by law and a right to the High Court subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under article 135 of the Constitution to determine whether information should be disclosed or not within the limits of the law.
The Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) has established the Right to Information Commission to promote, protect, monitor, and enforce the right to information under the Constitution of Ghana, 1992.
The lecturer will discuss the right to information as a fundamental human rights provision and argue that the several exemptions made by the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989) serve as impediments to the right of persons to access information from Government and officers who perform their functions as fiduciaries to the citizenry. The lecturer shall also compare the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 898) to other best practices in other jurisdictions. The lecturer shall further discuss the role of journalists to obtain access to information from the Executive, Parliament, and the Courts without any impediment for the benefit of Ghanaians.
View programme brochure online
Download the programme brochure in PDF
Watch the Lecture online