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4 Lawyers in A-G's Department in 3 Northern Regions

2008-04-01 21:31:31
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There are only four lawyers working in the Attorney-General's Department in the three northern regions, the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Kwame Osei Prempeh, has disclosed.

Mr Prempeh made the disclosure in Accra yesterday during the enrolment of 36 newly qualified lawyers and asked lawyers to be prepared to serve the country by accepting to work in any part of the country.

According to him, there was only one lawyer each in Bolgatanga and Wa in the Upper East and Upper West regions respectively, and two lawyers in Tamale in the Northern Region.

He said the problem was as a result of the refusal of lawyers to accept posting to deprived communities because they only wanted to be posted to Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua, among others.

Mr Prempeh said to stem the tide, the Attorney-General's Department had instituted incentive packages such as special allowances, vehicles and accommodation for lawyers who were prepared to accept posting to deprived areas. There was also the option to serve in deprived areas for at least three years before being transferred to an urban area.

Asked why newly qualified lawyers were not sent to the deprived areas, he replied that it was not always safe to do that and that it was necessary to have lawyers with some considerable experience to be posted to the regions to work alone.

The special meeting of the General Legal Council to enrol the new lawyers was opened when Mr Prempeh moved the motion for the session, which was seconded by Mr Benson Nutsupui, the Vice-President of the Ghana Bar Association.

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, said as lawyers they owed it a duty to the society and should strive to give back to it what was contributed to shape their lives. She asked them not to aid in the unauthorised practice of the law.

She said the decision by the lawyers to serve the public, the profession, their clients and the court placed an awesome responsibility on them because the public would expect them to exhibit a high degree of uprightness and decency in both their private and professional lives.

Mrs Justice Wood congratulated the lawyers on their tenacity and achievement and expressed the hope that some of them would join the judiciary to fill vacancies on the Bench.

The Chief Justice said the discovery of oil in the country had opened new vistas for lawyers and it was incumbent on them to take courses that were oil and gas related to prepare themselves for any eventualities which were bound to come with the windfall.

The judiciary, she noted, had sent two judges on postgraduate training in that sector in a university in Scotland.

Mrs Justice Wood reiterated her call on the government for assistance to support the Ghana School of Law as the school was about to celebrate its Golden Jubilee.

Earlier, two magistrates were sworn in at a brief ceremony.


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