Mamponteng (Ash),– A stakeholders’ forum to create awareness about services rendered by the Legal Aid Commission (LAC) has been held at Mamponteng in the Kwabre East Municipality.

The forum which was attended by representatives from the Municipal Assembly, Department of Social Welfare, Civil Society Organisations, Traditional Authorities and Assembly Members was to empower participants to create awareness about the LAC office in the Municipality and the services it renders.

It was put together by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in collaboration with Abak Foundation with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

It formed part of a project dubbed, “USAID Justice Sector Support (JSS) Activity” which is being implemented in 40 selected districts in seven regions.

Mr Sayibu Mohammed Awal, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Officer at the Kwabre East LAC Office, said access to justice was a fundamental right that no citizen must be denied.

He said it was common knowledge that a lot of people suffer human rights abuse without seeking redress because they could not afford the cost of legal services.

Such persons, he noted, could take advantage of the services rendered by the Commission free of charge.

He said his outfit was mandated to ensure equality of access to justice and treatment before the law by serving as a public defender for the poor in need of cost-effective justice.

He entreated the participants to create awareness about the Office in their localities by letting people know about its existence and the important services it was providing to society.

Mr Awal further disclosed that the Office also provided ADR services for the amicable resolution of cases between two parties, adding that eight out of 10 cases were mostly resolved through ADR.

This, he said, did not only ensure peace between feuding parties but also reduced the pressure on the courts in terms of the number of cases.

Mr Philip Duah, Executive Director of Abak Foundation entreated the participants, especially chiefs and assembly members to help resolve issues in their communities through ADR.

That, he said, was the way to ensure a peaceful society and commended CHRI and its partners for promoting access to justice for the poor and vulnerable.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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