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Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo

Bamford Addo Speaker
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Accra, Ghana

Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo was a Ghanaian judge, barrister, and Speaker of Parliament from 2009 to 2013. She was also the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana serving from 1991 to 2004 as well as the first woman in the West Africa sub-region to be elected Speaker of Parliament.

The Rt. Honorable Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo was born on 26th March 1937 in Accra/Ghana. She started her education in Cape Coast Catholic Schools, namely, St. Mary’s Boarding School, and then went to Ola Boarding School. She then proceeded to the Holy Child School, also in Cape Coast for her secondary education. 

Determined to acquire the requisite knowledge to ensure success in life, Speaker Bamford-Addo joined the prestigious Inner Temple in the UK for her Law studies. This was with a strong desire to immerse herself in her law studies. She was called to the English Bar in 1961 and practiced in the UK for a year before returning to Ghana. She was subsequently called to the Ghana Bar in 1962. 

Since then-Speaker Bamford-Addo has held many influential positions in the legal field and is widely acclaimed as a supporter of individual liberties and guarantees of justice to all manner of people.

Included in the number of positions held through her active working life, which spans over four decades are:-

State Attorney – 1963 – 1965

Senior State Attorney – 1965 – 1970

Principal State Attorney – 1970 – 1973

Chief State Attorney – 1973 – 1976

Director, Public Prosecution – 1976 – 1986

2nd Deputy Speaker, Consultative Assembly 1991

Supreme Court Judge - 1991 – 2004.

By the time she left the public service, Speaker Bamford-Addo had established herself as one of the most successful jurists in Ghana. Her long experience in law and administration earned her a number of positions in both national and international organizations, namely Member, Legal Aid Board, Judicial Council (General Legal Council), Catholic Lawyers Guild, FIDA International), Ghana Bar Association as well as the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. She also represented Ghana at the UN Commission on the status of women. 

In 1991, she was appointed the Second Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly; the first woman to occupy that position.

The rich experience and knowledge acquired by the Rt. Hon. Speaker can largely be attributed to the numerous conferences she has attended, some of which include the conference on Status of Women (Tunis 1983), the Conference on Commonwealth Law Ministers (Sri-Lanka 1983), a Conference in Ethiopia (Addis-Ababa 1983), the Quadripartite Meeting of Heads of States of Benin, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria held in December 1984 as well as the Quadripartite Ministerial Meeting in Lome 1984 and many others. She was elevated to the high office of Supreme Court Judge in 1991 from where she continued to dispense justice for more than 13 years until she retired voluntarily from active service in 2004.