President Akufo-Addo yesterday announced the allocation of GH₵2 million as seed capital for the newly launched Law Reform Commission Fund and the Legal Aid Commission Fund to augment what he described as the depressing and deplorable condition of the two commissions.
The President, on his own, also contributed GH₵100,000 to each of the funds when he launched the two funds through the instrumentality of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame.
The Law Reform Commission is vested with the primary function of making practical proposals for the development, simplification and modernisation of the law while the Legal Aid Commission is obligated by the 1992 Constitution and the Legal Aid Commission Act 2018 (Act 977) to offer legal aid through the provision of free legal service to the poor and vulnerable.
Speaking at the launch of the two funds, the President indicated that being fully aware of the significance of reform in the development of laws in any country, he will throw his weight behind all activities which will result in the mobilisation of additional resource for the work of the Law Reform Commission.
President Akufo-Addo highlighted the obligation of the Legal Aid Commission to establish offices in all districts in the country, but that has not been done as there are currently only 46 district offices across the country owing to the weak financial situation of the commission, a situation which severely hampers access to justice.
He said in spite of the commission boasting an inadequate workforce of 212 lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and administrative staff, the commission in the first half of 2022, received a total of 7,558 court cases and resolved 3,163 of them, and out of the 4,414 ADR cases received, 2,233 were resolved, indicating that “you can then imagine what can be done with a well-resourced and well-staffed outfit.”
“One of the key priorities for government is to build a modern legal and justice system in Ghana. Even though the challenges we face are many, the promotion of rule of law is of the utmost importance and cannot take a back seat no matter the current circumstance. It is necessary for government to lend its support to institutions whose object promotes the cause of the people — institution such as the Law Reform Commission and the Legal Aid Commission”, the President added.
He was hopeful that the launch of the two funds will usher in a new progressive chapter in the lives of the two commissions, and assured the Attorney General that the Minister for Finance through Parliament will provide more adequate resource for the sustenance of the two funds.
The Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, was of the firm conviction that, if effectively harnessed, the Legal Aid Scheme will be a solid platform for the achievement of equity, justice and fairness in Ghanaian society.
He said his vision for the Legal Aid Commission, which is under his Office, is to assist in the development of a modern legal aid service, sufficiently resourced and armed with the requisite personnel to fully execute all of its constitutional and statutory functions.
He said the commission labours under dreadful infrastructural and logistical hardships for many decades, and pledged to ensure that land is acquired for the construction of a permanent office for the Legal Aid Commission once work is completed on the ongoing new office premises for the Attorney General.
“I committed myself to address the problems of all the agencies of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, including the Legal Aid Commission, and I am happy to note that, we are making headway,” Mr. Dame added.
He urged the Board Chairmen of the two commissions to come up with innovative ways of generating funds for the two commissions.
Board Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Anthony Akoto Ampaw, as well as the Board Chairman of the Legal Aid Commission, Justice Nene Amegatcher, commended the Attorney General for his effort leading to the launch of the two funds, and urged Ghanaians to contribute substantially to the two funds.
SEND A STORY: Do you have a story for us or need a promotion / advertisement? Submit them via our email email@example.com and via on +233 266777777