a-5260 (ACC-GHA-5260)

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(Zugriff auf alle Quellen am 22. Jänner 2007)
Was passiert, wenn man sich nicht an die Regeln des matrilinearen Erbfolgesystems hält?
“[…] among the matrilineal Akan, since descent and inheritance are reckoned through the mother’s side, women provide the continuity of the lineage. A man without sisters is haunted by a sense of frustration.” (Francoeur, 1997, Ghana, Abschnitt 1B)
“The Akan ethnic group, to which the majority of the population in western Ghana belongs, has traditionally practiced matrilineal inheritance, whereas a number of inhabitants in migrant villages, who belong to non-Akan ethnic groups, are generally subject to the patrilineal inheritance system. Although inheritance among the Akans is through the uterine line, women’s land rights are not strong. In the uterine matrilineal system, land is transferred from the deceased man to his brother or nephew (sister’s son) in accordance with the decision of the extended family or matriclan (Awusabo-Asare 1990). Wives and children were left with no rights to a man’s property if he died intestate (Brydon 1987) nor was the wife provided for in case of divorce.” (IFPRI, 2001, Kapitel 3, S.20)
“35. The Committee is concerned about women’s unequal status in marriage and family matters owing to customary and traditional attitudes. It is particularly concerned that marriages under customary law and Mohameddan law allow polygamy, and that women are discriminated with regard to inheritance of family property.” (CRC, 14. Juli 2005, S.7)
“Matrilineal inheritance and succession among the Akan is usually formulated in terms of the transfer of property and status from mother's brothers to sister's sons. However, generational seniority imposes a complication and dictates that property must first pass successively through a group of brothers and can descend to sisters' sons only after all the males within a generation have died. (Formerly the nephew was further preempted by cousins within the senior generation of collateral branches, but this practice has been modified to restrict inheritance within a sibling group.) Sisters usually cannot inherit a man's property but can be heir to their sons if they or their sisters have no other male children. Women's property, however, is allocated to other women, i.e. sisters and daughters in that order of precedence, and is awarded to men only if their are no female heirs. The traditional inheritance system of course excluded direct transfer of family property to wives and children. However, responsibility for these dependents was assumed by the heir, usually through leverate marriage. In recent times opportunities for accumulating savings and property without the assistance of lineage has allowed men to provide for wives and children through gift and oral or written wills. Occasions for ambiguities and conflicts are numerous.” (Department of Anthropology University of Manitoba, September 2003)
„In der Geschichte von Ghana, angefangen in kolonialer Zeit bis zur Unabhängigkeit und dann seit der Unabhängigkeit, hat es vor allem vier Systeme von Regeln und Gesetzen gegeben, die das Erbe von Eigentum regulieren, wenn eine Person gestorben ist. Die Regeln, die angewendet wurden, hingen davon ab, wie die Person verheiratet war: Ob eine Person unter amtlichem Gesetz, unter muslimischem Familiengesetz oder nach Sitte des patrilinearen oder matrilinearen Erbsystems geheiratet hatte. Nach dem Sittenrecht des patrilinearen oder matrilinearen Systems wurde eine zurückgebliebene Partnerin kaum beschützt, wenn der Mann starb. Weder Frau noch Mann hatten ein Anrecht auf Besitz des anderen. Kinder waren im matrilinearen System noch schlechter dran. Sie hatten weder das Recht zu bleiben noch zu erben.
Die Regierung von Ghana hat deshalb 1985 ein Erbgesetz verabschiedet, in dem die Erbfolge geregelt wird. Die Idee war, ein einheitliches Gesetz zu schaffen, das überall im Land angewendet werden kann, ganz gleich ob die verstorbene Person aus einer patrilinearen oder matrilinearen Gemeinschaft kommt, in der die Ehe geschlossen wurde. Das Gesetz sieht vor, daß ein größerer Teil des Besitzes des Verstorbenen an Ehegattin und Kinder geht als es davor der Fall war. Die Kirche hat dies Gesetz begrüßt und unterrichtet ihre Mitglieder darüber. Zusätzlich werden einzelne Familienmitglieder ermutigt, Testamente zu machen.“ (SIPCC, 2005, S.55)
“The primary form of Akan social organization is the family or the abusu--the basic unit in a society based on matriclans (see Glossary). Through the exogamous matriclan system, local identity and individual status, inheritance, succession to wealth and to political offices, and even basic relations within the village community are determined. […]
Despite the matrilineal focus of Akan societies, most traditional leadership positions are held by men. Male succession to inherited positions is, however, determined by relationship to mothers and sisters. Consequently, a man's valuable property is passed on not to his children, but to his brother or sister's son. A man may also be expected to support the children of a maternal relative, whether deceased or alive, an expectation that may conflict with the interests of his own children. Matrilineal (see Glossary under "matrilineage") succession to property has been the cause of much litigation. There have been instances of wives and children turning to the courts for redress. In 1986 the government passed a number of laws that sought to bring the traditions of inheritance in line with changes that had occurred in the country. These laws, which included the Intestate Succession Law, the Customary Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Law, the Administration of Estate (Amendment) Law, and the Head of Family (Accountability) Law, recognized the nuclear family as the prime economic unit. Provision was made, however, for the identification of collective properties that belonged to the extended family.
Notwithstanding the 1986 legislation, the matriclan system of the Akan continued to be economically and politically important. Each lineage controlled the land farmed by its members, functioned as a religious unit in the veneration of its ancestors, supervised marriages, and settled internal disputes among its members. […]” (Library of Congress, November 1994)
“Until 1985, customary law governed intestate succession for the vast majority of estates, providing rules of succession that largely excluded spouses. This regime was radically altered in 1985 by a statute intended to protect more fully the interests of spouses, particularly widows. Despite this statutory change, an understanding of the structure of family systems in Ghana and the customary law governing marriage, property rights, and succession is essential to an appreciation of the problems facing Ghanaian widows today. This is true for three reasons. First, under the current statutory regime, customary law still dictates the distribution of a part of the estate. It also governs both ownership of property acquired during marriage, and the composition of the inheriting group, including who counts as a legal spouse. Second, to the extent that people lack knowledge of the law or the resources to enforce it, customary law still governs the distribution of estates. Third, even when the statute is well-understood, the persistence of longstanding expectations and social practices informed by the customary law of intestate succession has given rise to many of the problems in enforcing of the statute.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.268-269)
“For the purposes of this Report, the differences between matrilineal and patrilineal systems are significant primarily because they give rise to different sources of conflict surrounding distribution of the estate. In matrilineal communities, the intestate’s sisters and her children (his nieces and nephews) are the primary beneficiaries under customary law and are therefore the most likely to challenge the widow’s rights under the statutory regime.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.281)
“Notwithstanding the existence of these alternatives, eighty percent of marriages in Ghana are still celebrated under customary law which makes little provision for widows. As described above, under customary law, the estate of a man who dies intestate reverts to his lineage. His wife or wives have no entitlement to a share of the estate and are dependent on the largesse of the family and the customary successor. In practice, the successor often fails to fulfill his obligations. Moreover, in matrilineal communities, a man’s own children have no legal right to any part of the estate. The practical effect of this customary law structure has been the impoverishment and homelessness of many women and children. In response to pressure from churches, traditional groups, and women’s advocates, and a desire to comply with international legal standards that obliged the State to end discrimination against women and children, the Ghanaian government in 1985 adopted Laws 111 and 112, significantly altering the system of intestate succession. The following section describes the changes to the customary law and to the marriage statutes that resulted from the adoption of Law 111. Despite these changes, many of the social practices and expectations underlying the customary law persist. Part III discusses in detail the problems resulting from these changes and their tension with practices under customary law.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.284-285)
“Sixteen years after the enactment of Laws 111 and 112, many view the lack of awareness of these laws as the biggest obstacle to enforcement. For example, Mrs. Sheila Minkah- Premo, of Apex Lawconsult, explained that ‘many people in Accra have not heard of the Law, and it is even worse in rural areas and the northern region.’ Arthur Henry Adusei, a Legal Literacy Volunteer in Tarkwa, commented that the volunteers do not see many specific problems with the way the statute is being applied because most people simply do not know of the law.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.326-327)
“Even if women understand their rights under the law and have the resources to pursue their claims, they often face significant social pressure from their families and communities not to seek legal recourse and instead to resolve the cases outside of the judicial system. Supreme Court Justice Joyce Bamford Addo commented that ‘the majority of people do not go to court because the Chiefs are so powerful you would not dare go over their heads.’ Justice Isaac Lartey-Young noted that most cases are resolved in the traditional ways and that he will only hear a case if there are problems. He added, ‘[i]f they are dealt with in the traditional courts and there is peace, I will not know.’ As Samuel Yao Nudo, an attorney in Ho, explained, ‘[i]f maintenance or inheritance cases are filed in court, it means there was a total breakdown of societal norms; it means that the elders, the chief, the pastor, all highly respected members of the community, have all failed to resolve the dispute.’” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.334)
“The problem of community resistance to Law 111 is compounded in some places by the attitude of law enforcement. A woman may risk ostracism by her community in order to seek help from the police only to find that the police view inheritance as a ‘private matter’ in which they should become involved.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.335)
“The Director of the Legal Aid Board for the Western Region accounted for the attitude of the police by speculating that male police officers ‘do not want to enforce [Law 111] because even they would use customary law.’ The Government has attempted to respond to this attitude of police by establishing a Women and Juvenile Unit (‘WAJU’), staffed primarily by female officers. WAJU handles cases of sexual abuse, physical abuse of women and children, including domestic violence, and it handles property related disputes when a woman is ejected from her home in violation of Law 111. Despite the apparent success of these units, they exist only in Accra and Kumasi.” (Crowley Program in International Human Rights, 2001, S.336)
Für detaillierte Informationen zu den in den zitierten Paragraphen angesprochenen Themengebieten empfehle ich Ihnen, den gesamten Bericht durchzusehen. Besonders hinweisen möchte ich Sie auf die Abschnitte „Inheritance Rights under Customary Law“ (S.276-282), „Constitutional and Statutory Law“ (S.285-294), „Lack of Knowledge of the Law Governing Intestate Succession” (S.326-337).
Informationen zur Korruption der Polizei in Ghana
“Role of the Police and Security Apparatus 
The police, under the jurisdiction of an eight-member Police Council, are responsible for maintaining law and order. The military continued to participate in law enforcement activities during the year. A separate entity, the Bureau of National Investigations, handles cases considered critical to state security and answers directly to the executive branch.
The police maintained specialized units for homicide, forensics, domestic violence, visa fraud, narcotics, and cybercrimes in Accra. However, there were significant barriers to extending such services nationwide, including a lack of office accommodation, police vehicles, and equipment outside of Accra. 
The police service came under repeated criticism following incidents of police brutality, corruption, and negligence. Impunity remained a problem. Delays in prosecuting suspects, rumors of police collaboration with criminals, and the widespread perception of police ineptitude contributed to an increase in vigilante justice during the year. There were also credible reports that police extorted money from local businesses by acting as private debt collectors and by arresting citizens in exchange for bribes from detainees' disgruntled business associates. 
Government officials publicly stated that the government's zero tolerance for corruption policy applied to police and other security officials; however, a July public opinion survey by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, found the police to be the public institution most frequently perceived as corrupt (77 percent of respondents).” (USDOS, 8. März 2006, Abschnitt 1d)
“5.36 Crime and Society, a comparative criminology tour of the world (accessed 27 August 2005) noted that: ‘Police and other security forces have committed some serious human rights abuses. Security forces have committed a number of extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects… Police have continued to use rubber bullets and water cannons in crowd control situations. In recent years, the police service in particular has come under severe criticism following incidents of police brutality, corruption, and negligence. Public confidence in the police remains low, and mobs attacked several police stations due to perceived police inaction, a delay in prosecuting suspects, rumors of collaboration with criminals, and the desire to deal with suspects through instant justice.’ [43] (p10)” (UK Home Office, September 2005, S.17)
“The violence involving law enforcement agencies and communities raises questions about policing culture and the loss of credibility of state institutions in conflict management and resolution. Often, the police are suspected of partiality and corruption by one side in communal disputes. This is compounded by the authoritarian police culture and the lack of proper communal violence management skills and facilities, which leaves individual police officers and police property vulnerable to attack.” (CRISE, November 2004, S.27)
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