Lawyers urged to consider pro bono cases

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The Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. Akuffo on Friday called on lawyers to provide free legal services (Pro bono) to those who cannot afford the services of a lawyer.

They should make a commitment to offer the service every year, so that justice would be served to all persons and not only a few who can afford the legal fees charged by most lawyers.

She was addressing 38 newly outdoor lawyers who were called to the Bar on April 20.

Lack of resources, she said, made some people unable to access justice and there was the need to ensure that all were served with justice.

She advised them also not to prolong cases for the wrong reasons to enable “the judges to deal with worthy cases”.

“Don’t be one of the boring lawyers,” she stated, and urged the new lawyers to apply integrity in every case they handled and make room for new principles to be dealt with by judges.

Justice Akuffo who is also the Chairperson of the Ghana Legal Council asked the lawyers to encourage their clients to resort to Alternate Dispute Resolutions (ADR) mechanisms.

“Be first ADR mediators when they first meet you and make them amiable before going to court,” she noted.

The Chief Justice called on the new lawyers not to give clients “Hypertension” by prolonging cases and avoid so many outstanding cases, especially when you retire.

You are to infest “fresh blood” into the system as new lawyers but desist from unprofessional conduct.

She said the danger was that some of them might have become corrupted already and would normalize what others were doing, but asked them to make a difference.

Out of the 38 that were called to the Bar, 13 were females.

The occasion was also used to mark the formal opening of the General Legal Council meeting.

Ms Gloria Akuffo, Minister of Justice and Attorney General moved the motion for the lawyers to be enrolled whilst Mr Benson Nutsikpui the National President of the Ghana Bar Association seconded the motion.

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