He pledged the government`s commitment to meet the Commission`s resource needs to ensure that the institution fulfills its mandate as enshrined in the Legal Aid Commission Act 2008 (Bill 977). He called on State institutions, the diplomatic community, civil society organizations, development partners and stakeholders to make generous contributions to the two funds so that the two commissions can achieve their objectives. The Legal Aid Fund is intended to provide a robust mechanism to provide comprehensive legal assistance to the poor of Ghanaian society in all cases, while the Legal Reform Fund would be used to implement projects aimed at developing and reforming Ghanaian laws in line with modern trends and developing human resources in legal reform. He said the fund will enable the Commission to make practical recommendations to develop, simplify and modernise legislation. The president hoped that the introduction of these funds would “open a progressive chapter in the life of both commissions”. It would also ensure that the poor and vulnerable in society have access to legal services to ease the burden on the Legal Aid Fund. With regard to the Legal Reform Fund, President Akufo-Addo noted that the legislation would support research to refine Ghanaian laws and strengthen the Law Reform Commission to identify specific areas of law for reform. These are the Commission`s Legal Aid Fund and the Legal Reform Commission Fund. The two statutory funds were presented with seed capital of one million cedis each.
The Chairperson congratulated the Legal Aid Commission for its excellence despite logistical and staffing problems. “I also call on the Council of the Legal Aid Commission, chaired by distinguished Supreme Court Justice Nene Amegatcher, and the Council of the Legal Reform Commission, chaired by eminent lawyer Anthony Akoto Ampaw, to diligently and conscientiously discharge the mandates to manage funds under Article 34 of Law 977 and Article 13 of Law 822.” Says. Attorney General and Justice Minister Godfred Yeboah Dame stressed that the creation of the two funds “will lay the foundation for the transformation of two very important institutions whose mandate is crucial to improving access to justice in the country.” Research Report of the Commission on Constitutional Review – 2011 He stressed that the Legal Aid Fund would enable the Commission to help vulnerable people in society access legal services such as legal advice, representation and education, thus ensuring justice for all, regardless of their status. President Akufo-Addo also instructed the management and executive boards of the two commissions to ensure that they take prudent steps in the management and disbursement of funds that would flow into their respective funds. “I urge everyone gathered here to contribute generously to the Fund, and I assure the Attorney General that the Minister of Finance, through Parliament, will allocate more adequate resources to maintain these funds,” he said. He welcomed the establishment of the Legal Aid Fund, but stressed the need for the General Legal Board to make it mandatory for lawyers to conduct a number of pro bono cases before renewing their licence. At the event, held at the Accra Palace of Justice, President Akufo-Addo, who made a personal donation of GHc 100,000 each to the two funds, said development is a catalyst for equality, justice and equity in society. Accra, on August 10, GNA Chairman Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched two legal funds aimed at improving access to justice and modernizing Ghanaian laws.
Supreme Court Justice Jones Dotse, who represented the Chief Justice, commended the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice for their role in establishing the two funds, stressing the need to reform Ghana`s laws to address the challenges facing the justice system.