May 31, 2018

The Legal Aid Commission Bill 2018 had gone through second reading on the floor of the House with 32 amendments after the Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Ben Abdallah Banda presented reports of the committee to the House for approval.
When passed, the Legal Aid Commission Bill 2018 would repeal the Legal Aid Scheme Act, 1997(Act 542) to provide legal aid and other legal services to certain category of individuals in Ghana.
The committee further noted with concern that provision has been made in the Bill to require lawyers perform pro bono services as a condition of their solicitors License but was rejected by the committee.

In the view of the committee, the Ghana Legal Council is the statutory body responsible for the regulation of lawyers in Ghana and a body alone with such powers to make such regulations.

Mr. Ben Abdallah Banda noted that, apart from restructuring the scheme into a commission with the requisite level of autonomy, it would further enhance access to legal aid service in the country through the establishment of regional and district offices of the commission.

He further added that the above measure would inure to the benefit of the poor and vulnerable in the Ghanaian society, to ensure the achievement of liberty, equality before the law freedom and justice as well as the protection of other fundamental human rights and freedom.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/