Public Relations Officer for the Ghana Bar Association, Saviour Kudze has disagreed with calls for pro bono services to be used as a requirement for renewal of license by legal practitioners.
Chairman of the Legal Aid Commission Board, Justice Nene Amegatcher, had suggested that proof of pro bono services be made a requirement for renewal of license by lawyers.
He said this could go a long way to facilitate the work of the Legal Aid Commission.
But Mr. Saviour Kudze believes such a decision could pose challenges to some lawyers, especially those working in corporate settings.
The private legal practitioner noted that rather than make pro bono services mandatory as a requirement for renewal of license, lawyers should be encouraged to do so willingly.
“A lot more lawyers are informally doing pro bono services. A good number of lawyers charge even below the minimum required fees that are supposed to be charged…if we say that we are going to make it [pro bono services] a requirement for renewal of license, for me it is going to be problematic…We have a good number of lawyers who work in corporate institutions and per their contracts, they are supposed to only work in that institution.
“How are you going to compel those lawyers to do pro bono services before you have their licenses renewed because they must also renew their license. In any case, we do not even do the renewal at GBA we are only agents doing that for the GLC,” he explained on JoyNews‘ The Law, Sunday.
According to him, such a move would also cause some lawyers to limit their pro bono services although they could have taken up more cases.
“You see, the danger too is that the moment you make it a requirement, if you say if I do two, I may be able to do ten, but because you say if I do two I will get my license, I have done two, I am okay I will stop, people can do that.”
“We have been doing pro bono all these years, so I will use this platform to encourage lawyers to do more. But I do not think time is right for us to make it a requirement for renewal of licenses,” Mr. Kudze maintained.
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