Want for a month’s discover earlier than issuing writ for authorized charges: Defending the Poor’s Purse or Tyranny of Custom?

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Francisca Serwaa Boateng

The one month notice requirement was considered and applied in a 1976 case where the court dismissed the lawyers’ action for recovery of their legal fees. The court noted that the lawyers had failed to allow the statutory one month period to pass before they sued the clients.

Interestingly, since the 1992 Constitution came into force, the courts have continued to hold that the statutory one month’s notice is a necessary pre-condition for every lawyer’s action to recover their legal fees. Where a lawyer fails to give a client the required notice, any action instituted by the lawyer to recover the legal fees is declared a nullity.

The constitutional and statutory regimes that have abandoned mandatory notice requirements.

The Constitution provides that all persons shall be equal before the law. Therefore, the Constitution has, for example, abolished the requirement for a person to obtain the Attorney-General’s fiat before suing the Republic. The Constitution provides that where a person has a claim against the Government, that claim may be enforced as of right by proceedings taken against the Government for that purpose without the grant of a fiat or the use of the process known as a petition of right. Therefore, where a person has a claim against the Government, that claim may be enforced as of right by proceedings taken against the Government for that purpose. This principle and its historical antecedents were exhaustively explained in a recent case.