General News of Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Source: GNA

New CHRAJ Commissioner assumes office

Accra, Aug. 3, GNA – Ms Laureta Vivian Lamptey, Commissioner for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) assumed office on Monday, August 1.

A statement issued in Accra on Wednesday by Mrs Comfort Akosua Edu, head of Public Relations, said: “She was warmly received by the Commission’s Management and Staff who pledged their support to enable her undertake her duties judiciously.”

Ms Lamptey who was sworn into office by President John Evans Atta Mills on Tuesday, July 26, is a lawyer and investment banker.

She took over from Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner of CHRAJ who resigned recently.

Ms Lamptey becomes the second substantive Commissioner for CHRAJ after Mr Justice Emil Short, who resigned in December last year.

Mr Justice Short was appointed in 1993 after the coming into effect of the 1992 Constitution.

Ms Lamptey holds L.L.B. and B.L. degrees from the University of Ghana and the Ghana Law School respectively, and an L.L.M. in International Business Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) of the University of London.

She is the daughter of a distinguished Ghanaian diplomat, Mr George Odartey Lamptey (deceased) and Mrs Agnes Rosetta Lamptey. She lived in Liberia, the USA and the UK during her childhood, before returning to Ghana with her family at the age of 14 years to attend Aburi Girls Secondary School.

At Aburi, she excelled academically while making time for extra-curricular activities such as being Secretary of the Debating Society.

She earned the highest overall “A” Level results in her school as well as the highest French, English Literature and History results. A trip to France as a prize from the French Government for being one of the students with the highest French Language results in the country was a fitting reward for her efforts.

Ms Lamptey attended University of Ghana from 1977 to 1980 where she received her first law degree, an LLB (Hons.). Exhibiting a deep interest in issues relating to equal access to justice, and the integrity of the legal system, Lauretta’s undergraduate dissertation raised the question of “One law for the rich, one law for the poor?” and examined potential flaws in Ghana’s criminal justice system and the challenges of ensuring equity in its administration.

She continued to excel academically, and was selected as one of two students to represent the University of Ghana at the highly prestigious Phillip Jessup International Law Moot Court competition organized annually by the American Society of International Law and held in Washington, DC.

Ms Lamptey went on to attend the Ghana Law School from 1980 to 1982, during which time she was attached to the law firm of Fugar and Co., a prominent firm of corporate attorneys. She received her B.L. (Barrister-at-Laws) degree and was admitted to the Ghana Bar in December 1982.

A little-known fact is that upon completion of her Bar examination, Ms Lamptey applied to and was accepted at the Vrije Universitiet de Brussels to study for an LLM in Human Rights Law, then a budding area of specialisation which was gaining interest among lawyers.

This career choice was strongly encouraged by her father, Mr Lamptey, who was himself for many years a member (and at one point Chairman) of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, one of the most important UN human rights bodies.

However, largely because of her focus (while studying for her LLB degree) on International Law and International Trade and Investment Law, as well as her proven research skills, Ms lamptey was within six weeks of qualifying as a barrister asked to join the team appointed to renegotiate investment agreements governing the operation of the largest US investment in Ghana, VALCO. This became known as the VALCO Negotiations Team.

She deferred her LLM to complete this very important national assignment which took two years, by the end of which time Ms Lamptey had developed considerable expertise in investment law and negotiations.

Ms Lamptey therefore continued to participate in or handle several other negotiations in the area of natural resources and forestry, and was also assigned to the Ghana Minerals Commission to assist in the development and drafting of an investment code for the mining sector, enacted as the Mining Code, 1986.

Ms Lamptey’s experience as an investment lawyer led to her attending the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) of the University of London on a prestigious Chevening Fellowship from the British Government.

She received her third law degree, an LLM in International Business Law, from LSE in 1987.

Upon her return from the UK, from 1990 to 1998, Ms Lamptey chose to use the extensive financial aspects of her LLM in the corporate arena, as Head of Capital Markets at Ecobank Ghana Limited and then as Head of Corporate Finance at Cal Merchant Bank.

However, she continued to use her legal skills as well in diverse ways, including being part of the committee which drafted the Membership Rules and the Listing Regulations of the Ghana Stock Exchange, as well as the drafting of the Securities Industry Law.

Keen to keep those legal skills honed, she chose to handle the regulatory aspects of the 1994 landmark public offering of Ashanti Goldfields shares, as an additional responsibility beyond her role as co-lead manager (for Ecobank) of the Ghanaian and Ecowas offering.

After a stint with Loita Capital Partners in Johannesburg, South Africa as Group Corporate Finance and Legal Advisor from 1999 to 2000, Ms Lamptey left the field of banking to become an independent legal and financial consultant based in Johannesburg, until her return to Ghana three years ago.

Firmly committed to corporate governance, transparency and accountability in the corporate sector, Ms Lamptey has held a number of board appointments over the years.

These include being a founding member of the Governing Council of the Ghana Stock Exchange, and a member of the boards of the Securities Discount Company (SDC) and of Gliksten W.A.

She has for the past two years, been a non-executive director of Ghana Commercial Bank, where she is a member of the Human Resources Committee.