John Mensah Sarbah, the first of the activist lawyer statesmen whose works have so marked Ghanaian history.
Great Sarbah was the first formally trained Ghanaian lawyer and the author of the seminal work, Fanti Customary Laws, where he sought to set down the rules and principles of customary law, a tradition followed by subsequent generations of legal scholars such as Joseph Casely Hayford, J.B. Danquah, and Nii Amaah Ollenu. Their works served to reinforce the historic bargain and duality which characterise the Ghanaian legal environment - the coexistence of customary law and the received English law, both statutory and common law. Thus Ghana, like many other African countries, has a plural legal system, which the founders of our nation have chosen as an instrument of nation - building. The judges, both in colonial times and especially since independence, have been particularly resourceful in the development of this instrument, and have been adept at fashioning a peculiarly Ghanaian law, which is a fusion of the ancient customary law and the received common law.