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Ghana today: an assessment of the changes in the justice system during the colonial era

Apenkro, Stella Korleki (2017) Ghana today: an assessment of the changes in the justice system during the colonial era. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Gold Coast (present-day Ghana) was divided inland into ethnic groups. These ethnic groups were governed by laws and a corollary penal system, derived from custom. The justice system during the pre-colonial era was focused on maintaining social equilibrium and stability. Thus, imprisonment as a form of punishment was not aboriginal. Accordingly, punishments ranged in degree from apologizing, to paying compensation to victims, to performing the requisite animal sacrifice. However, as Gold Coast came under the aegis of British rule, the justice system was changed.Emile Durkheim’s theory on social change would explain the change in the Ghanaian justice system as an inevitable linear progression/change. Max Weber’s would explain the change in the justice system as an effect of rationality to make the justice system become more methodological, efficient and predictable. Michel Foucault’s would explain the change as an attempt by the British to control indigenes. But, how would a sample of subjects familiar with the justice system in Ghana explain this change? Would their explanation align with any of the above-mentioned theorists? This research is focused on examining what legal practitioners and persons, who have knowledge about the Ghanaian justice system, think caused changes in the justice system during the colonial era. This would be to identify views on the theoretical underpinning to the changes that occurred.To this end, a convenience and snow ball sampling technique were used to sample respondents. A Skype interview and an electronic survey were used to collect the data. To get an insight of what may be influencing the answers given to the above questions, the demographic variables were analyzed in relation to the responses. These variables were gender, region, where the respondent was raised, and profession.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Social sciences; Assessment; Colonial era; Ghana; Gold Coast; Justice system; Sociological theories
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sociology and Social Work
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 02:47
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/4920

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