It is a pleasant and gratifying task to write this welcome message some fifty-six years after my enrolment as an LLM student at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, a benefactor of GIALS. Established in 1948, the Institute was then under the directorship of Professor Sir David Hughes Parry, an outstanding legal scholar and university administrator. Since then, IALS has acquired the status of a towering centre of legal education and research throughout the entire Commonwealth.
I welcome the development of the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. The scope of the programmes and services set out in this prospectus, as well as the galaxy of legal luminaries listed therein, make me reasonably optimistic that the Institute will survive to attain international acclaim, following the footsteps of its illustrious British predecessor.
Ghana is currently at the crossroads – politically, economically, socially and culturally. The country is confronted by a myriad of rapidly changing conditions which demand imaginative and meaningful legal engineering and reform. There could not be a more propitious time for undertaking advanced research and penetrating analytical work in law. The output of GIALS would be critical to addressing many aspects of our development endeavours. These include:
1. The deepening of our constitutional democracy and governance system generally to make them more effective and transparent at all levels of decision making.
2. The adoption of appropriate legal mechanisms to effect the restructuring of our economy, and to meet the challenges of dealing effectively with foreign and international actors in areas vital to our economic well-being and our environment.
3. The modernisation of our society through appropriate law reform including a reappraisal of our customary law and practices and land system, and
4. The creation of an enabling legal environment for development in all aspects to ensure an equitable and productive socio-economic order.
The above are only a few of the critical tasks to be performed by the Institute. The country is indebted to Professor Stephen Offei and the eminent sponsors for their laudable initiative.
DR SAMUEL K.B. ASANTE
(Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante)
Chairman, Advisory Council of the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies