The Fair Justice Initiative was founded by Sarah Mary Adetola ('Femi'), not long after she qualified as a legal representative in Accra, Ghana. Whilst attending court for her clients, Femi became acutely aware of the crisis in inadequate legal representation for criminal defendants. Many arrive for their hearings without any understanding of their charge or case, no lawyer to advise them and often not even an adequate grasp of the court's working language, English. Appalled by what she saw, Femi offered her services as a lawyer pro bono to one such defendant named Ismael. After his conviction she maintained contact with him at Nsawam Medium Security Prison, and began to take on more pro bono clients with similar complex vulnerabilities. It quickly became evident the problems facing individuals like him were not confined to the courtroom alone.
Four years on, The Fair Justice Initiative is now a non-governmental organisation (NGO), formed with the aim of combatting this set of inextricably interrelated problems. Our legal department is licensed as the external Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Ampem Chambers Barristers and Solicitors, a full service corporate law firm based in Accra, Ghana.
Femi is the Founder and Executive Director of the Fair Justice Initiative. She is a graduate of Wesleyan College (2006) and University of Ghana (2009), and qualified as a lawyer at Ghana School of Law in 2011. She is now a Senior Associate at Ampem Chambers, a member of Ghana's Prisons Board, and a successful restauranteur.
Rosie joined FJI as the Director of Programmes in October 2018. She holds a BA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford (2013), and an LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice from SOAS, University of London (2018). She coordinates FJI's diverse array of programmes, from the provision of basic care packages to liaising with local artists and academics to challenge the prejudicial preconceptions surrounding both prison inmates and the formerly incarcerated.
Akosua joined FJI as an Associate Lawyer in April 2018. She began her legal training in the United Kingdom (University of Aberdeen 2012, UoL 2013) and was called to the Ghana Bar in 2017. She works full-time preparing legal representation for our clients and providing advice in the legal aid clinic at Nsawam Prison. She also assists with other FJI programmes working to improve the welfare of detainees.
Nana Adwoa joined FJI in October 2018 as an Associate Lawyer. She has been called to both the bar of England and Wales (2016) and the Ghana bar (2017). She too works full time representing FJI's clients in court, providing legal advice to the inmates of Nsawam Prison as part of FJI's legal clinic, and providing assistance to FJI's other programmes.
Ruth joined FJI as an intern in October 2018. She holds an LLM in International Law and International Relations from the University of Bristol (2017). She has over four years of legal work experience at the African Law Society Forum, Avon & Bristol Law Centre and Bristol Crown Court and is passionate about access to justice. Ruth's internship is focused on legal research, both to assist the legal team in their case work and to support FJI's supporting projects with the inmates of Nsawam Prison.
Kwame is a qualified lawyer (Ghana School of Law, 2016) with over five years of experience in the financial services industry. He supports FJI's legal team part-time on a pro bono basis.