Lawyers Shun Attorney General’s Dept

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, has expressed concern over the high rate of attrition of State Attorneys in the country. According to her, “in fact, the staffing situation, especially with regards to State Attorneys, is appalling and a great source of concern. We have inadequate numbers of attorneys. “Even more disturbing, is the skewed distribution of attorneys among the various grades. The middle level grades like Principal and Senior State Attorney’s are few, whilst the lower grades, such as Assistant State Attorneys, are many. This situation creates a huge problem in the effective and efficient discharge of the Ministry’s mandate,” she said. Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu expressed these sentiments at the inauguration of an eight-member Ministerial Advisory Board of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department in Accra, over the weekend. She attributed the high rate of attrition of state attorneys, as well as other staff, to unattractive conditions of service at the Ministry. However, Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu was quick to add that this would soon be a thing of the past, as she had taken drastic measures to address the situation. Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, who is also the Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Board of the Ministry, hoped that members would provide useful feedback to the board, to enable them fashion out credible and proactive policies. “In line with the government objectives, such policies must respond to the needs of the people, and be more sensitive to the needs of the less privileged in society,” she added. The Ministerial Advisory Boards are a creation of the Civil Service Act, 1993 (PNDCL327). Section 39 of the Law mandates every ministry to establish a Ministerial Advisory Board, with its functions stipulated in Section 40 of the Law, to promote constant interaction between the ministry and the users of its services, and to advise the Minister on adjustment in policy directions, planning objectives, and operational strategies. The task of the newly-inaugurated board would include advising the Minister for Justice and Attorney General on appropriate policy options, which will help reposition and empower the Ministry to achieve greater efficiency, and promoting constant interaction between the Ministry and the users of its services. The agencies that the eight-member board would be dealing with to formulate appropriate policies are, the Legal Service, including Copyright Office and Registrar-Generals Department; Ghana School of Law, Council for Law Reporting, Legal Aid Scheme, Law Reform Commission and Serious Fraud Office. Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu urged members of the board to bring their individual knowledge, skills and competences to bear on the performance of the ministry. “Indeed, we must acknowledge that it is an honour to be called upon to serve your nation in a special capacity. We therefore cannot afford to fail. A lot is expected of you,” she said. The sector Minister assured Ghanaians that the government would ensure that justice becomes accessible to all, irrespective of their social status, religious and political affiliation. Mould-Iddrisu stresses that the government was committed to strengthening the rule of law, and the observance of human rights in the country.