Delegation from Maastricht University pays Courtesy Call on Vice-Chancellor

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu  (right) presents a gift to Prof. Peter Van Koppen, (left)

A delegation from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, has paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu. The delegation was made up of Prof. Peter Van Koppen, Professor of Psychology and Law at the Faculty of Law; Maastricht University and the Free University Amsterdam; Dr. Robert Horselenberg, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, and Mr. Nkansah Anakwah, an Erasmus Mundus Fellow, a PHD candidate in Legal Psychology at the Faculty of Law, Maastricht.   

The Dean of School of Law, Prof. Raymond Atuguba, who accompanied them, said the visit was part of plans to strengthen collaborations, exchanges and educational partnership between the University of Ghana School of Law and Maastricht University.  He noted that the aim of the partnership was to focus on student and faculty experience as well as improving student, faculty and staff exchange programmes.

In brief remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu expressed gratitude for the visit.  He called on Prof. Atuguba to initiate the process of formalizing the existing relationship.

Prof. Peter Van Koppen, who led the delegation, noted that, with his background in Legal Psychology, his main interest centered around happenings in law that deal mostly with witnesses.  He said the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, mostly deals with African cases precisely African witnesses appearing before the Court. Undertaking research into the culture of Africans was therefore necessary to comprehend witnesses.  Prof. Koppen recounted that there had been a comparative research on people in Asia and European witnesses but little is known about African witnesses. He mentioned that a research comparing Western and African witnesses was currently underway and the collaboration between the University of Ghana and Maastricht University therefore will aid in that respect.  He concluded that basic knowledge on African cultures was imperative.

In his remarks, Dr. Robert Horselenberg noted that a PhD programme had commenced for Ghanaian students in collaboration with some Swedish and United Kingdom Universities.  He hinted that there were several Law programmes in Maastricht and in the Netherlands as a whole, which he believed could be replicated at the University of Ghana.

Present at the meeting were Prof. Andrew Anthony Adjei, Coordinator, Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Teams, and Dr. Ibrahim Bedi, Acting Director, Internal Audit.

Prof. Peter Van Koppen later gave a public lecture on the topic ‘’Influence of Culture on Witness Statement’’ at the University of Ghana School of Law.

Photograph of Officials present during the visit