The right to privacy is fundamental
in human rights .
Although this right is entrenched, nevertheless, it is not absolute in respect of the above provision, i.e., it can be derogated for the purposes of prevention of crime and protection of the rights or freedom of others.
But then again, in my opinion, it appears that unless as otherwise in respect of a criminal
The article focuses in greater detail the right to privacy in criminal matters, particularly the
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Interpretation of right to privacy
In view of the 1992 Constitution, there is no specific provision on
Accordingly, the court rejected the policy of automatic exclusion of evidence for breach of constitutional right and adopted the discretionary exclusionary rule.
Pwamang JSC observed:
“Enforcement of human rights is not a
Here, the court considered the need to balance public interest and human rights in adopting the discretionary exclusionary rule, i.e., it held that enforcement of
For this reason, what then is the position of the court on the admissibility of evidence obtained in violation of a person’s constitutional right, more specifically, the right to privacy in criminal proceedings?
Right to privacy in criminal proceedings
In the case of Edmund Addo v IGP & A-G, the police seized the applicant, Edmund Addo’s electronic gadget without a court warrant. They forced the applicant to provide his passwords but he refused.
They later engaged the service of some IT experts to access the phone and the laptop with the purpose of using the evidence gathered to prosecute the applicant. The applicant brought an action to the High Court to seek the court to declare that his rights to privacy, property and fair trial were been violated.
Counsel for the applicant argued that the police, having already taken custody of the gadgets, had no power to access their content without a court warrant authorizing them to do so.
On the other hand, the A-G argued that crime was ground for suspending the right of a person to privacy. The court held that the conduct of the police amounted to a violation of the rights to privacy and fair trial. Consequently, the court ordered the police to submit the said gadgets to the court within 14 days.
In light of this, it appear that the position of the courts support my argument that unless as otherwise warranted by a court, the constitutional right to privacy of a person under a criminal proceedings in respect of a criminal
So, as it may seem that a person who has been charged with a criminal
Article 18(2) provides that “except with law” the right to privacy is
Thus, the violation of the right to privacy ought to follow
And contrary to that may amount to a civil remedy for the accused person, as well as the evidence obtained in breach of the privacy of an accused person may not be admitted by the court automatically, but discretionary.
The writer is a Research Analyst