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08.12.2005 General News

Resource Ministry of Justice - Ayariga

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Accra, Dec. 8, GNA - Mr. Mahama Ayariga, Minority Spokesman on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Thursday urged government to adequately resource the Ministry of Justice to enable it to perform its constitutional role.

He said due to lack of funds, the Attorney General's office is unable to recruit more lawyers to speed up trials in the courts. Mr. Ayariga gave the advice when he was contributing to the debate to approve the sum of 102,805 million cedis for the services of the Ministry of Justice for the 2006 fiscal year, which was moved by the Attorney General, Mr Ayikoi Otoo "Most cases drag on for years due to lack of lawyers and other reasons thereby denying people of justice that they deserve promptly." "Adequately funding the Ministry of Justice would enable the vulnerable in society to seek legal aid when their rights have been violated."

Mr Ayariga said legal aid is one of the constitutional rights of the people who cannot pay for legal services, especially when their rights have been infringed upon.

Seconding the motion for the approval of the budget for the Ministry of Justice, Mr Kwame Osei-Prempeh, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said the policy direction of the Ministry of Justice to undertaking 2006 include the entrenchment of the rule of law and the provision of save guards to ensure access to justice to all citizens.

In addition, the implementation of programmes aimed at reducing fraud and combating corruption, restructuring of the Ministry and the Attorney General's Department as well as the commencement of the first phase of a six-storey multipurpose building for the Ghana Law School. The Committee, he said, was not happy with the frequent inconsistencies in the releases of budgetary allocations for specific items.

"This practice obstructs the planned programmes of the Ministry and makes monitoring and evaluation very difficult." "For this reason the various expenditure items should be properly planned to avoid such inconsistencies." 08 Dec. 05

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