The Chief Justice, Gertrude Torkornoo has called on judges to embrace digital tools and knowledge to ensure the adjudication of cybercrime cases.
According to her, despite the relevance of internet services to current development efforts, it had also provided the platform for miscreants to pursue criminal activities that borders on the country’s safety and security.
This, she said required that judges build their capacity and skills about the internet and its governance to be able to deal with emerging cybercrime cases.
Justice Torkornoo was opening a three-day introductory training on cybercrime and electronic evidence for judges in Accra, organised by the National Cybersecurity Authority (CSA) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) under its framework of Organised Crime West Africa Response on Cybersecurity and Fight against Cybercrime.
It aimed at improving the skills of judges and prosecutors in the adjudication of cybercrime in the country.
Making a case for the deployment of technology in justice delivery and other sectors in general, she explained that the internet was a useful tool that had helped in enhancing productivity and simplifying various aspects of human life.
Similarly, the Chief Justice said it had become an avenue for unscrupulous persons to engage in criminal activities such as financial fraud, cyber bullying and blackmailing.
“The internet has enabled crime on new levels. These cybercrimes are multifaceted and cross border in nature.
This requires that the judiciary is abreast with new tools to be able to deal with such cases. We also need to build the capacities of several criminal justice actors such as Narcotics Control Board, Finance Intelligence Centre (FIC), among others, to be able to effectively play their roles,” she added.
The Director-General of the CSA, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, said online blackmail, unauthorised access, cyberbullying, and the publication of non-consensual intimate images were the leading threats online users in Ghana were exposed to.
According to the Bank of Ghana, he said the total loss value from cyber fraud increased from GH¢2.6 million in 2021 to GH¢4.3 million in 2022.
“Our country is not insulated from these threats. Current data gathered from the National Computer Emergency Response Team at the CSA has identified online fraud as a major threat in the Ghanaian digital space,” he said.
Despite the threat, he noted that administration of justice had been hampered by challenges in the consideration of electronic and forensic evidence and other complex technological issues involved in trial processes.
Dr Antwi-Boasiako said the CSA was committed to working together with the judiciary to address challenges with cybercrime cases prosecution such as territorial jurisdiction.
Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ghana, Massimo Mina commended for its efforts in the fight against cybercrime, adding that the EU would continue to support the CSA to increase awareness and strengthen capacities.
The training, he said would help the participants to delved into various aspects of cybercrime, including the techniques employed by cyber criminals and the challenges faced in collecting and presenting electronic evidence in courts.