The practice of law is not a right but a privilege, along with it comes the moral obligation and a legal duty to uphold the dignity of the profession and ensure that the privilege of being called to the bar is not abused through unprincipled and disreputable conducts, said the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame to the new executives of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
He pointed out to the new President of the GBA that he is assuming office at a time that the question of ethics and standards at the bar has assumed “imminent significance” where the standard of practice has declined to its lowest depth.
Speaking of what he said he experienced at the Supreme Court, the conduct of some lawyers in certain cases they handled, where according to the AG “ethics is virtually thrown to the dogs in the dishonorable quest for some lawyers to win a case”.
Mr Dame said it is only when legal practitioners maintain the highest level of ethical standards that the law will continue to be a noble profession with no compromise in the country.
He admonished the new executives of the GBA to be responsible for preventing and condemning any act of “illegal pressure” on the judiciary.
“You have to be on guard against unscrupulous persons targeting the independence of the judiciary by tarnishing its image unjustifiably.
“I must also state that the judiciary should also assert its might by acting against such persons with a firm fist in the situations where lawyers misconduct themselves in court but judges fail to apply the relevant sanctions, contributing in equal measure to the destruction of the integrity of the judiciary,” Mr Dame said.
He appealed to the members of the bar to re-embrace the virtues of good practice which will guarantee the purity, dignity and majesty of the courts to be upheld in the country.
Mr Dame was addressing a gathering at the swearing-in ceremony of the new executives of the Ghana Bar Association in Accra.
“Mr President and new executives, you owe a duty to drive home the point that the practice of law is not a right, it is a privilege, along with it comes the moral obligation to uphold the dignity of the profession and ensure that the privilege of being called to the bar is not abuse,” admonished the AG.