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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Going, going, gone!: implications of the repeal of criminal libel and sedition laws in Ghana
Authors:Laryea, EmmanuelISNI
Kwansah-Aidoo, Kwamena
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
freedom of the press
freedom of speech
Abstract:One of the first laws enacted by the NPP (New Patriotic Party) government of Ghana after assuming office in 2001 was the Criminal Code (Repeal of Criminal Libel and Seditious Laws) (Amendment) Act 2001 (CLSR Act). The CLSR Act repealed the offences of criminal libel and sedition in Ghana, as well as revoking certain executive powers conferred on the President, by the Criminal Code, to prohibit the importation or publication of newspapers. The CLSR Act has been seen as key to freedom of speech and association, and a positive development in Ghana's fledgling democracy. Following a brief history of the former provisions, this paper looks beyond the euphoria to present some critical thoughts on the implications of the repeals for government, the mass media, and Ghanaians in general. There are two main arguments: first, while most of the repealed provisions were out of touch with modern-day realities in Ghana, the repeal of some of the provisions leaves lacunae in the law. Second, the repeal of the libel provisions may be less significant than was thought as the tort of defamation is still extant. App., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]