The Attorney-General’s Department under the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, acts as the principal legal adviser to the Government and consists of the following sections.
- The Civil Section
- The Prosecutions Section and
- The Legislative Drafting Section
The Solicitor-General who by section 3 (i) of the Legal service Law 1993 (PNDC 320) is the head of the legal service in the absence of the Attorney-General and the Deputy Attorney-General, is also the head of the Civil division of the Attorney-General’s Department.
The Division performs the following functions:
- Represents the Government in all industrial and commercial negotiations including drafting, vetting of contracts and agreements involving department and agencies of government.
- Prosecutes civil cases in all the courts on behalf of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Processing and settlement of civil claims against the Government in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
- Attorneys serving as Members, Secretaries, Counsel for committees and commissions of Enquiry.
- Providing legal opinion on loans contracted by Government or any of its agencies prior to the disbursement of such loans.
- Serving on Central and Regional Tender Boards.
- Settlement of disputes or cases out of court, to save the state from the payment of heavy costs, damages in compensation, where in the opinion of the Solicitor-General the state is liable through the commission or omission, of any act by government Departments, Agencies or Ministries it is the role of this office to settle.
- General Legal advice to Government in all matters.
- Prosecuting all constitutional cases involving the Government and agencies of government. Cases that fall in the above-mentioned categories are assigned to various Attorneys in the Division to work on.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is the head of the Prosecution Division, and the Principal Officer who assists the Attorney-General to perform his Constitutional functions in the area of “the initiation and conduct of all prosecutions of criminal offences”.
He is thus responsible to the Attorney-General for all criminal prosecutions including prosecutions by the Police and other Public Prosecutors appointed under Section 56 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30). His Division therefore advises the Police on Criminal law and on their case dockets and exercise general supervision and control of Criminal Prosecutions by all.
Apart from initiating and conducting criminal prosecutions, the Division argues on behalf of the Republic before the courts and Tribunals in all criminal appeals and motions. The Division also assists the Attorney-General in the performance of his constitutional duties as “the principal legal advisor to the Government” in the area of Criminal law and Criminal Justice.
There are offices of the Attorney-General’s Department in all the Regions except in the Greater Accra Region. The Regional offices are in Kumasi, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Sunyani, Cape Coast, Koforidua, Wa, Ho and Sekondi.
The bulk of the work of the Regional Offices consists of criminal prosecutions with a few civil cases. Principally, the attorneys conduct criminal prosecutions, and advice the Police on Criminal Law. In addition, they represent the State in civil cases as well as advice Government Departments on all legal matters. They also assist Regional Tender Boards in their work.
Legislative Drafting Division
The Division is headed by the Director of Legislative Drafting. It performs the following functions:
- Legal drafting of all Legislations, Bills and Subsidiary Legislation i.e. Legislative Instruments, Constitutional Instruments, Executive Instruments, Gazette notices of a Legal nature and By-Laws;) for both the Central and Local Government;
- Preparation of memoranda to Parliamentary Bills following information provided by MDAs;
- Overseeing the printing and publication of all legislations; proof reading and authorization for publication;
- Giving general advice on the interpretation of the laws of Ghana;
- Preparation of the index to Statutes of Ghana;
- Law Revision and consolidation;
- Providing service to Parliament i.e. drafting of amendments to Bills before Parliament;
- Giving legal opinion.