Over the past ten years, the Law School’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice has established an especially strong relationship with Ghana and its institutions, stakeholders, and civil society. A leader in West Africa, Ghana is dedicated to promoting and advancing rule of law and human rights in its pursuit of sustainable development. To date, the Center has collaborated on over two dozen projects and programs with legal experts and institutions in Ghana, led primarily by Leitner Center Professor Paolo Galizzi. In September 19, the Leitner Center, Fordham Law School, and Professor Galizzi were recognized at the annual awards dinner of the Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America (AGLA) for their exemplary work in advancing the rule of law in Ghana.
AGLA provides 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, and to serve as a dominant link between Ghana and the United States.
“Few other legal institutions have empowered and helped develop our judiciary as Fordham’s Leitner Center and Professor Galizzi have,” said Kwaku Boafoh Agyeman, the president of AGLA. “Galizzi’s leadership in continuing to engage with legal stalwarts and policy makers, facilitating transatlantic dialogue on Ghana’s prison system, legal aid, and the bench and bar deserves our attention.”
Galizzi and the Leitner Center have developed many long and successful relationships in Ghana, especially with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). The Leitner Center and GIMPA have collaborated on a variety of programs with the Judicial Service of Ghana, including judicial trainings and exchange, and a pilot clerkship program that is now being expanded throughout the superior courts. Fordham Law’s International Law and Development in Africa (ILDA) clinic—one of two clinics under Galizzi’s direction—also regularly partners teams of Fordham and GIMPA law students to research and implement small-scale legal development projects to promote access to justice and sustainable development in Ghana. In addition, the partners support efforts by Ghana’s Legal Aid Board to strengthen and expand legal services, while the Vivian Leitner Global South LL.M. Scholars program has awarded 20 scholarships for Ghanaian scholars and judges to enroll in the Fordham LL.M. in International law and Justice program since 2007, in an effort to build judicial and faculty capacity in Ghana.
“The best days for Ghana are ahead,” Galizzi said. “There is a lot that is positive happening in Ghana, and I believe Fordham should be at the forefront of it. I will continue to be committed to this work for as long as I am fortunate enough to be able to offer my services to help the country and its legal institutions in my small way.”