The National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has tasked lawyers across the country to act with circumspection when handling criminal cases whose outcomes could trigger implications for the country’s peace and stability.
“Now more than ever, the actions of members of the bar, in supporting state security and intelligence agencies are critical and this calls for closer collaboration between actors within Ghana’s security architecture and members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA),” he added.
The minister was speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the National Security Strategy (NSS) organised by his outfit for members of the GBA, in Accra on Tuesday.
According to Mr. Dapaah, the security of a country and its people could not be assured when injustice prevailed, saying a disregard for ethics, standards and principles of the legal profession by members of the bar was the surest way for injustice to abound.
Mr. Dapaah was of the view that unethical behaviors among members of the bar significantly led to the compromising of justice delivery, adding that when justice was denied or delayed, citizens tended to take the law into their hands and perpetrate acts of lawlessness in a bid to achieve instant justice.
Throwing more light on the significance of the NSS, he explained that it advocated an approach towards mitigating threats that militated against the achievement of the human security needs of the citizenry.
National Security, he said, was the collective responsibility of all and sundry towards safeguarding the peace and stability of the country. Therefore, members of the bar who were integral stakeholders in the justice delivery system had important roles to play.
“Security architecture is undergoing a transformation which is driven by the new National Security Strategy and the heart of this transformation is the security, safety, and well-being of the individual Ghanaian citizen,” he added.
He stressed that the NSS emphasised the need for enhanced collaboration between the bench and the bar, towards improving the justice delivery system of the country.
Explaining, he noted that the new NSS might not be classified as a new law “but its rich content places a moral and an ethical responsibility on the shoulders of lawyers to act responsibly.”
On his part, the president of the GBA, Mr Yaw Acheampong- Boafo, stated that national security was the precursor to the effective enjoyment of rights enshrined in the constitution.
He mentioned that the rise in national and international crime rates that increasingly crossed national borders in a legal and illegal migration could pose an incalculable threat to the international community in an increasing globalised world.
Describing national security as a safe haven, he commended the government for developing the NSS document, saying it was commendable that the government did not wait for any acts of terrorism or extreme violence to hit the nation before acting, “this is extremely commendable.”
Mr Boafo hoped that government would make available the necessary resources to equip the intelligence of the GBA and the various security agencies in order to bring to fruition policies in the NSS document.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU