Following the publication No. 147 of Afrobarometer prepared by Pauline M. Wambua and Carolyn Logan, the Center for Research and Opinion Polls (CROP) has organized on May 18, 2017, a dissemination of findings on the theme “Togo’s judicial system marked by popular distrust, perceptions of corruption”. The event took place in the Hibiscus conference room at Agora Senghor. Speakers were Hervé Akinocho, Director of CROP, Ekoutiamé A. Ahlin, Researcher at CROP and Dr. Kodjo A. Kuakuvi, Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Lomé. Participants include on the one hand administrative and institutional authorities, journalists and academics. On the other hand, representatives of international organizations, embassies, civil society organizations, and non-governmental organizations were also present. The data used for the analysis is derived from the six (6) series of Afrobarometer surveys conducted in Togo from October 12-24, 2014.
Findings shows that, despite the efforts of the Togolese government in recent years -efforts that were supported by a number of technical and financial partners, including the European Union Delegation and the UNDP- in terms of improving access to justice, the judicial system remains characterized by a lack of confidence from the citizens. Hence, only 37% of respondents reply that they trust courts “partially” or “very much”. In addition, 48% of our respondents believe that most or even all judges and magistrates are corrupt. In Togo the contact rate with courts is low (11%), and those who do believe access to the justice system is difficult due to the long delays (48%), the complexity of the judicial system (44%), the lack of counselling and legal aid (39%), the carelessness of judges (36%), and the high costs (28%).
According to the representative of the CNDH at this dissemination, the results presented reinforce the findings on the ground and have the merit of providing figures enabling civil society to better support its arguments during these advocacy with authorities and donors. The practitioners present, while recognizing the problems raised by the results, put them back in the context of a Togolese judiciary system facing a lack of resources which would explain in large part these difficulties and the slowness in the implementation of key reforms such as legal aid. The exchanges ended with the call of the representatives of the sector to get closer to them so that the reflection can be continued in order to understand the causes of the difficulties of the justice so that that approaches of solutions can be proposed.