General News of Saturday, 6 October 2018
Two hundred and seventy-nine new lawyers have been called to the Bar with a charge on them to respect their clients.
Addressing the new lawyers in Accra yesterday, the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, said she had witnessed instances where lawyers disrespected their clients and indicated that such behaviour was uncalled for.
“Respect your clients. Do not shout on your clients,” the Chief Justice admonished the new lawyers.
She cautioned the newly qualified lawyers to take the Professional Code of Ethics extremely serious and avoid brushes with the law in order to ensure that no disciplinary proceedings or criminal prosecution was instituted against them.
“I must emphasise that the General Legal Council will not spare any lawyer who commits professional misconduct, we have tightened and will continue to tighten the rules,” Justice Akuffo cautioned.
The Chief Justice; the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo; a Supreme Court judge, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, and the President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr Tony Forson, took turns to present certificates to the newly qualified lawyers.
Special prizes were awarded to lawyers who excelled in the professional course.
The best all-round performance in the professional law examination prize went to Mr Jainie Agovi.
There was a thunderous applause from his colleagues when he was called to pick his award. They also gave him a standing ovation.
Justice Akuffo urged the enrolled lawyers to exhibit good character and professional integrity in their work.
She said lawyers must not be distinguished by their garbs, famous wigs and gowns, but by their ethical conduct, language and etiquette.
“A lawyer’s manners both in speech and action would stand him or her in good stead as a person of noble character, a worthy squire and member of the noble profession,” Justice Akuffo stressed.
She also urged the new lawyers to emulate legal luminaries such as the late Professor Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe and Dr Y. Bimpong-Buta, desist from commenting on all legal issues and focus on building a career that would benefit the country and the world at large.
The Chief Justice urged the lawyers to prepare themselves adequately to take advantage of opportunities that might come their way.
Justice Akuffo advised the newly trained lawyers to be serious with their pupillage since that would give them a solid foundation in law practice.
She also urged them not to allow mistakes to discourage them from giving of their best.
The Chief Justice announced that the professional law course, which was hitherto of a year’s duration, had been reverted to the original two-year course.
“After three years and after a careful assessment, the General Legal Council has decided to revert to a two-year programme in order to assure quality outcomes,” Justice Akuffo explained.