Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Bamford Addo
The Rt. Honourable 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 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 person.
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), 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.
On Wednesday, 7th January 2009, Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo was elected as Speaker of Parliament of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, a position she holds to date. It is instructive to state that Speaker Bamford-Addo’s election as Speaker is of historical importance as she is the first woman elected to the position of Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.