Let’s back calls to review defilement law

 Dear Editor,

I write to back a call by a High Court Judge to review the country’s laws on defilement to ensure that such cases get to their logical conclusion.

In the previous edi­tion of your paper, the judge, Justice Gloria Mensah-Bonsu called for a second look at Section 101(1) of the Criminal Offences Act 29.

That in her view could ensure proper compen­sation for defilement victims.

According to the report, a culprit in such cases was liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of seven years minimum or 25 years maximum.

But being a strictly lia­bility law with no option of a fine, it has become difficult, by my layman understanding, to fine the culprits to compen­sate the victims, espe­cially in cases where the act results in pregnancy.

I want to appeal to the authorities, specifically Parliament to consider this human right centered call to begin the process.

As it is now, some fam­ilies of victims of such crimes would consider monetary ‘gains’ over the punishment to be meted out to the culprit.

Sometimes, one cannot begrudge them for that judgment because their living conditions may be poor and could feed on what the culprit would use to buy their ‘silence’.

But when they are aware the case could fetch them something substantial in addition to a conviction, they may cooperate to ensure the match gets to its logical conclusion.

Adwoa Wadie,


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