We need about 200 lawyers – Legal Aid Commission

The Commission says the call for more lawyers is necessary because of new districts that require the services of lawyers.

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The Legal Aid Commission says it would need about 200 more lawyers to strengthen its workforce.

The Commission currently has about 62 lawyers serving across the country.

“From Bolgatanga to Accra, the lawyers we have are just 62. Greater Accra has the highest number of 11 lawyers, while the Ashanti Region has 10. For the rest of the regions, you can imagine,” Mr Martin Tieku Amoyaw, the Executive Director of the Commission is quoted to have said in a Daily Graphic interview.

The Commission says the call for more lawyers is necessary because of new districts that require the services of lawyers.

Currently, the Commission has about 42 district offices and it intends to add 20 more offices to that number.

“Looking at our lawyers’ strength, it’s about 53 there and you know we need to get more lawyers. And with the open of the new districts, we need to put lawyers there. In fact districts that have District Courts, so that they will attend instead of them travelling that distances to access legal service. We need about 200 lawyers, at least that can suffice for now,” Slyvester Nyarko Mends, the Administrator of the Legal Aid Commission told reporters during a visit by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice.

The Legal Aid Commission was made independent from the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice in 2018.

Since then, the Commission has had to deal with challenges affecting its service delivery and expanding its operations to all districts in the country.

“The office space that we are talking of, we had a discussion with him,(Attorney-General) I think before Christmas. You know the building belongs to the Council for Law Reporting and we are more or less perching. Like I indicated earlier, we needed to have established directives as the Act says. But because we don’t have offices, we’ve not been able to establish the directives,” he said.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who lamented about the situation, has assured concerns will be dealt with.

“Their staff strength is very, very low. The building in which they operate is in dilapidation virtually. So part of the processes to ensure we have a modern Attorney-General’s office fit for purpose is what I have undertaken to do, to ensure that we complete the facilities that are at our disposal, ” he said.

The AG has also assured the Legal Aid Commission and the Council for Law Reporting of receiving 14 vehicles and four vehicles respectively to assist in their operations.