The Fair Justice Initiative

The Fair Justice Initiative

About Us

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.


  • Ghana's prisons are severely overcrowded; 15,000 inmates are held in 43 institutions with an official capacity to hold 9,875 (World Prison Brief, 2018). 
  • Of these, 13.8% are those on remand, awaiting trial (ibid, 2018). Court delays will often mean their case is not heard for several years; there is a struggle to deal with the backlog of cases complicated by critically poor record keeping. 
  • The same problems persist for those hoping to appeal their sentences. Lost documentation within the paper-based system is very common.
  • Inmates are reliant on family members to fund many of their basic needs. Medical care services are overstretched. In Nsawam Medium Security Prison there are only three physician assistants and four nurses (Amnesty International, 2017) for c.3100 inmates.
  • Recreational and educational opportunities have limited capacity, and there is no provision for reintegration services for a demographic facing significant stigma and rejection


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. 

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Our Staff

Sarah Mary Adetola ('Femi')

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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 Worster

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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 Fouillard

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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 Amponsah-Mensah

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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.

We're regularly take on interns and volunteers to assist our staff deliver their services to Ghana's most vulnerable. 

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