Ghana practises a democratic system of governance. Parliamentary and presidential election was held every four years in accordance with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution. The most recent elections were in 2016, with the country experiencing a smooth transition in government.
The Constitution provides a clearly defined separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial arms of government.
There are ten administrative regions in Ghana with 254 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs). Ghana practises a system of decentralisation where the various regions and MMDAs are allowed some degree of autonomy in decision-making.
Ghana also maintains various structures of traditional rulership recognised under the Constitution. The role of traditional leaders is to mobilise people to pursue developmental goals at the local and community levels. Traditional chiefs in Ghana have been organised into regional and national houses of chiefs.
Ghana’s legal system is based on the 1992 Constitution, with statutes being enacted by Parliament; and rules, orders and regulations enacted through delegated legislation, common law and customary (traditional) law. The hierarchy of the court structure in Ghana is as follows:
- The Supreme Court (i.e. the highest court);
- The Court of Appeal, and the High Courts (these two courts and the Supreme Court are together referred to as the superior courts of judicature); and
- The Circuit and District courts, which form the lower courts.
The office of the Attorney-General of Ghana has powers to prosecute matters on behalf of the State and is required to be joined in all legal actions against the State.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor was recently set up as a specialised agency to investigate specific cases of corruption involving public officers, and politically exposed persons in the performance of their functions, as well as individuals in the private sector implicated in the commission of corruption and to prosecute these offences on the authority of the Attorney-General.