CJ Advocates Screening Of Lawyers

The Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has appealed to the General Legal Council to re-examine lawyers before renewing their licences.

She noted that the proposal was geared towards reminding lawyers of the need to adhere to their professional ethics and refrain from practices that had the tendency to erode the confidence that people have in the legal profession.

Professional ethics in legal practice, she noted, should be the concern of all lawyers and, therefore, urged all legal practitioners to work in promoting ethical standards at all times.

Mrs Wood was speaking at the 2014/2015 Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) at Cape Coast.

The six-day conference will take stock of activities of the association, and discuss ways in which the association could contribute to the effective development of the country, while also looking at issues of national concern.

The conference is being held on the theme “Insulating state institutions from interference for effective realisation of their mandate: The role of regulatory bodies”.

It would provide the platform for members to elect new officers for the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and also confirm the venue for the 2015/2016 Annual Conference before the close of the conference.

The GBA, Mrs Wood, explained, risks losing the battle of image buildings and urged members of the association to work towards protecting the image of the legal profession in the country.

She expressed concern about the conduct of some lawyers who she said routinely absent themselves from the courts, as well as the overcharging of clients who seek the services of legal practitioners.

The Chief Justice, therefore, appealed to lawyers to consider reducing the high charges on legal services they render to the public, in order to support the underprivileged in the society.

She appealed to the General Legal Council to sanction appropriately, any lawyer who goes contrary to the ethics governing the practice of the legal profession in the country.

Mrs. Wood intimated that those who alleged corrupt practices against members of the bench, refused to provide proof of their allegation when called upon to do so.

She expressed worry about the practice where bailiffs assigned to execute their specific duties, demand money from lawyers and litigants before carrying out such duties.

Mrs Wood urged judges to take charge of the management of their courts in ensuring swift adjudication of cases pending before them, to free the courts of the numerous cases pending before them.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, indicated the need for legal practitioners to work tirelessly in upholding the dignity of the court system in the country.

She explained that loss of confidence in the court system, leads to the destruction of property, and promotion of anarchy in any society and urged all lawyers to support efforts that would promote the peace and security of the state.

She reiterated the need for lawyers to adhere to the code of conduct governing the practice of the legal profession in the country.

The President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Nene Abayaateye Amegatcher, noted that some politicians had shown that they would undermine state institutions for their short term political advantage.

“If that were not so, why would the Inspector General of Police, Immigration Service, Fire Service and other security services’ positions would be so politicised that a change in government almost certainly leads to a change in their hierarchy?” he enquired.

He noted that the nation’s civil service, which was once world class, had been undermined by the politicisation of the position of Chief Directors, ostensibly to ensure that only people who would promote a political party’s agenda were placed in those positions.

“I believe politics itself has been made so attractive in this country that the technocrats seeing the benefits derived by their political superiors, have been striving to be like them and eventually take their positions” he stated.

The Central Regional Minister, Acquinas Tawiah Quansah, in his remarks, expressed government’s commitment towards renovating the state of the courts and judges’ bungalows in the region.

From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast

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