On the eve of Ghana’s 57th Independence Day, the Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America (AGLA), honored Ghana’s Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Mrs. Georgina T. Wood, at an impressive ceremony in New York.
In attendance were the New York State Commissioner for the Division of Human Rights, Ms. Helen Diane Foster, members of faculty of Fordham Law School’s Leitner Center including Clinical Professor Paolo Galizzi who runs Fordham’s summer law program in Ghana, GIMPA faculty, and a representative from the Ghana Mission in New York.
Conferring honorary membership on Ghana’s first female Chief Justice in its 57 year history, AGLA president, Kwaku Boafoh Agyeman, highlighted Her Ladyship’s pioneering role in increasing gender representation in Ghana’s courts, her extensive judicial reform efforts including the institution of specialty courts and her efforts at dispensing justice more efficiently under challenging circumstances.
Mr. Agyeman commended the Chief Justice for her singular role in deciding to broadcast live Ghana’s 2012 election petition challenge at the Supreme Court and, thus, averting the crisis that loomed large over the country’s stability.
“In hindsight, it is safe to conclude that, among other measures, broadcasting proceedings live to the people of Ghana played a significant role in bringing peace to the land,” Kwaku Boafoh Agyeman stated.
He added that Her Ladyship has shown great commitment to building the capacity of judges and judicial personnel through the Judicial Institute and by providing training opportunities abroad. A modern judicial complex is also currently underway under the Chief Justice’s leadership.
New York State Commissioner for the Division of Human Rights, Helen Diane Foster, a long-time supporter and advocate for the Ghanaian community in New York, expressed joy at being part of this august event, and, as a woman, pride at seeing Her Ladyship honored by AGLA.
She affirmed her interest and desire to work with the Chief Justice, Fordham Law School and AGLA to advance the course of human rights for all people in New York and beyond. Professor Paolo Galizzi emphasized the importance of supporting the legal sector in Ghana to help elevate the standards of justice delivery and to provide representation to the poor.
The Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America is set up to provide a forum for Ghanaian Lawyers in the United States to address matters relevant to their profession, to advocate and support the advancement of Ghana and its people while serving as a dominant link between Ghana and the United States.