Ghana Bar Association

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) is a professional association of lawyers in Ghana, including what used to be called solicitors and barristers but are now called legal practitioners, as well as magistrates. By convention all lawyers admitted to practice in Ghana become automatic members of the association.[1] The first president of the Ghanaian Bar was Sierra Leonean lawyer Frans Dove.[2]

Ghana Bar Association
Formation1876; 146 years ago (1876)
TypeProfessional association
PurposeTo promote legal professionalism
Official language
National President
Yaw Boafo

History and membershipEdit

The British parliament established the Supreme Court of Judicature for the Gold Coast Colony in 1876, with a Chief Justice and no more than four Puisne Justices.[3]John Mensah Sarbah was the first native of Ghana to be called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1887. The legal system was based on that of England, in which solicitors provide legal advice and prepare legal documents while barristers act as advocates in court. However, this division was not observed in practice in Ghana, and in 1960 an act abolished the distinction.[4] Until the Ghana School of Law was established in 1958, all lawyers were trained abroad, almost always at the Inns of Court in England. As of 2011 there are about 2,500 practicing lawyers, although not all have registered as members of the Bar Association.[5]

Even though the legal profession in The Gold Coast (now Ghana) can be traced to as far back as 1846, the Ghana Bar Association as a body had its first constitution in 1958.[6]

The current national president of the GBA is Yaw Boafo[7]

Some past presidents of the GBA include:

The Ghana Bar Association is a member of the International Bar Association.[20]


In October 2010 then GBA Vice President, Mr. Justice Kusi-Minkah Premo, called on the Chief Justice and the Council to eliminate inconsistency, corruption and misconduct by judges.[21] In April 2011 then National President Frank W. K. Beecham spoke in defence of Mr Justice E. K. Ayebi, a judge who had come under attack after acquitting 14 defendants in a murder trial.[22]

In July 2011 four lawyers made allegations of widespread corruption among judges. The GBA condemned the four for making unsubstantiated claims, and asked them to name the judges. Another lawyer openly confessed to having bribed a judge. The GBA said it would take legal steps to prosecute him.[23] The four lawyers were blacklisted by the Association of Magistrates and Judges. They and others stated that they were considering forming an alternative Association.[24] The Ghana Bar Association held its annual general meeting in Cape Coast in September 2011, soon after two magistrates had been sacked for demanding bribes. Then GBA President Frank Beecham said the association would fight corruption in all its forms. The GBA would establish a complaints unit to take complaints about corruption and ensure that offenders were prosecuted.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ David Andreas Hesse, Hesse & Hesse. "Ghana: Ethics and practicalities". Practical Law Company. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  2. ^ Audrey Gadzekpo, "Dove-danquah, Mabel (1905–84)", in Eugene Benson, L. W. Conolly (eds), Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (1994), 2nd edition, Routledge, 2005, p. 341.
  3. ^ "About us". Ghana Bar Association. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  4. ^ "THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT". Ghana Bar Association. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Training of Ghanaian Lawyers". Ghana Bar Association. Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Ghana Bar Association breaks new grounds".
  7. ^ "Yaw Boafo elected new national President of Ghana Bar Association". 15 September 2021.
  8. ^ Yevette Richards, Conversations with Maida Springer: A Personal History of Labor, Race, and International Relations, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004, p. 152.
  9. ^ Ekow Quandzie, "Obama presents 2011 National Humanities Medal to Ghanaian-born Prof. Anthony Appiah", Ghana Business News, 24 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Galloper Deal Stinks", Peace FM, 6 July 2012.
  11. ^[dead link]
  12. ^ "Sam Okudzeto", Sam Okudzeto & Associates.
  13. ^ "Ghana bar Association advises ex–President Rawlings", GhanaWeb, 8 June 2001.
  14. ^ "New President of Bar Association: Adu-Gyamfi is", Modern Ghana, 4 October 2001.
  15. ^ "Ghana Bar Association retains executives", Modern Ghana, 29 September 2005.
  16. ^ "Nii Osah Mills is GBA national president", GhanaWeb, 4 October 2007.
  17. ^ "GBA states position on Osah Mills' resignation", Ghana News Agency, 1 October 2008.
  18. ^ "Beecham Elected President", Samuel Duodu's Stories, 11 October 2009.
  19. ^ "Benson Ntsukpui is new President of Ghana Bar Association". 18 September 2015.
  20. ^ "IBA Member Organisations in Africa". International Bar Association. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Ghana Bar Association Brief the Press". Ghana Government. 30 October 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
  22. ^ "Ghana Bar Association regrets attacks on Judge, judicial system in Ya-Na ruling". Ghana News Agency. 2 April 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Ghana Bar Association condemns conduct of five lawyers". Ghana Business News. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  24. ^ "Blacklisted lawyers threaten break away from GBA". GhanaWeb. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  25. ^ "GBA declares war on corruption in judiciary". Daily Graphic. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011.

External linksEdit