The Chief Justice (CJ) Sophia A.B. Akuffo has expressed worry about the level of indiscipline that is creeping into the legal profession in Ghana.
According to her, the current state of Ghana Bar is not the best as there has been an increase in the number of disciplinary complaints brought against lawyers.
Speaking at the induction of 305 lawyers at the University of Ghana, Justice Akuffo stated that most of the complaints that are brought before the General Legal Council (GLC) are against younger lawyers.
She observed that the root cause of the complaints was lack of efficiency evidenced by disloyalty, indiscipline and the quest to get rich quick.
She, therefore, admonished the new lawyers to exhibit integrity and good character in their practice of law as those are tenets of paramount importance in the legal profession.
She urged the new lawyers who were called to the Bar to take the code of ethics of the profession seriously, and must at all costs avoid brushes with the law in order to ensure that no disciplinary action is instituted against them.
She warned that the General Legal Council would not spare any lawyer, new or old, who falls foul of the law.
Justice Akuffo was adamant that the GLC would ensure that only quality lawyers were churned out by the Ghana School of Law.
She stated that the legal profession was a noble profession and the GLC would not relent in its effort to ensure the production of only quality lawyers, adding that “a profession that can assure that every membership is by merit is a profession to be proud of.”
The Chief Justice reminded the new lawyers of the challenges that lied ahead of them, including the demands from society, especially from their clients for them to render loyal service and put their clients' interest first before theirs.
She told the new lawyers that challenges may come their ways “but that is what makes life worth living provided you maintain the right professional character. Prepare to take advantage of the opportunities that will come your way.”
Justice Sophia Akuffo also indicated that a call to the Bar opens the door to another journey and urged the new lawyers “never to be too proud or too shy to ask questions as help is always at hand for those who ask for it.”
The enrolment ceremony was attended by members of the General Legal Council, some Justices of the Superior Courts, lawyers as well as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo.
Some of the new lawyers who performed creditably in various fields were awarded with certificates. Kezia Owusu-Ansah was awarded the overall best student.