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Pro bono does not mean absolutely free – Francis-Xavier Sosu

Human Rights lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu has indicated that pro bono legal cases are not absolutely free.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Law on Sunday, he said although “it could be free, free – it should be with some reduced remuneration.”

He, however stated that there could be instances where a lawyer would want to help a close relative or friend with a legal case without a fee.

“Yes pro bono is not free, free –that is a reason every lawyer must be committed to pro bono legal services in Ghana,” he said.

 The Madina MP also called for the pro bono services to be restructured.

According to him, pro bono services should be made mandatory for renewal of licence by lawyers, adding that it “should not be limited to the desires of lawyers whether they feel like doing it or not.”

Speaking on the same show, Head of Legal Aid Commission, Accra, Nelson Mawutor Kporha stated that the major challenge of the Legal Aid Commission is the unavailability of funds.

According to him, the challenge makes it impossible for the Commission to pay the meagre fees due lawyers for their pro bono services.

“Per the Legal Aid Commission Act 977, 2018, you have three categories of legal personnel. That is, lawyers appointed by the Commission, lawyers assigned by the National Service Secretariat and lawyers who devote their time in a year to do free legal services. These categories of lawyers when they are done with their cases and file their judgement, we [Legal Aid Commission] are supposed to pay them 20 percent of the bascule of fees. I don’t remember the last time these monies have been paid. We are not able to meet this obligation of lawyers on our register we assign cases,” he revealed.

He noted that “every lawyer in the country should be interested in pro bono cases.”


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