Friday, 19 July

Akufo-Addo hails Attorney- General's dedication to justice

General News
Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney General and Minister of Justice

President nt Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned the newly completed Law House, a 12-story edifice designed to provide a modern and efficient workspace for the Office of the Attorney-General and the -Ministry of Justice.

The Law House, which took about 23 years to complete, boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including offices, conference rooms, libraries, and a canteen. 

The President commended the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for his vision and dedication to justice delivering and ensuring the completion of the building complex.

"This occasion marks a significant milestone in the development of our legal sector... I commend the Attorney-General and his team for their hard work and dedication to modernising the legal service," the President remarked.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said, "We overcame numerous challenges, including delays and procurement issues, to ensure the building's completion." 

As described by Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame, "The Law House represents a giant step towards realising the dream of a modern public legal service... Consisting of 12 stories - ten stories above ground and a two-tier basement for car park - it is a model for efficiency of the use of public land."

In his keynote address, the Attorney-General expressed his commitment to modernizing the legal service, citing the need for a fully functional digitized working environment. He announced plans to operationalize an integrated information management system and establish a modern electronic law library. As he noted, "We cannot have a modern legal service without a fully functional digitised working environment... A complete electronic management of all records at the office is non-negotiable."

The Attorney-General also highlighted the importance of strengthening the litigating capacity of the Office, particularly in international arbitration and cases in foreign courts and tribunals. He noted that the State has achieved significant success in international arbitrations, emerging victorious in all awards given in the past four years. As he stated, "We have shown that when given the opportunity, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs."

The commissioning of the Law House marks a significant milestone in the development of the legal sector in Ghana.

The Attorney-General's vision for a modern public legal service is seen as a crucial step towards enhancing the quality of legal service delivery in the country.

The Law House represents a giant step towards realising that dream. Consisting of 12 stories - ten stories above ground and a two-tier basement for car park - it is a model for efficiency of the use of public land. In addition to the good number of offices for state attorneys, it boasts of a vast conference room, a canteen, two libraries, rooms for pupils, interns and researchers, kitchenettes, and a big space on the 10th floor for parties.

The Attorney-General’s facilities include a conference room which can seat about thirty people whilst there are two specific suites for two deputy Attorney-Generals, including a study and a room for their own personal assistants. 

The building project period spanned the tenures of three governments – 

H. E J. A. Kufuor’s, H. E Prof. Attah 

Mills’s/John D. Mahama’s and H. E 

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo’s (a period of about 23 years). 

The works, including preparation of drawings, preparation of contract documents and obtaining of relevant permits and statutory approvals, actually commenced in 2001 in the tenure of H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. The project site was handed over to 

the contractor on July 23, 2001.

At the Initiation stage, the project was planned to be an 8-storey office facility. This was subsequently 

revised to a 10-storey structure with two-level basements. 

Prior to it's completion, the dreadful infrastructural and logistical hardships facing the Ministry were legendary as, even at the Head Office, some of the lawyers were operating from what is described in Ghanaian parlance as “containers”, a situation I considered very deplorable.

I deemed it unacceptable for attorneys who assist important institutions of state navigate the myriad of legal challenges they are confronted with, and some of whom were Ivy League scholars to be using containers as their offices.

Other problems principally related to grossly insufficient budget for the operations of the Ministry, lack of vehicles to facilitate the duties of state attorneys in justice delivery and severe technological challenges.

The event was attended by dignitaries, including the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and other government officials.