The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has asked lawyers who insult judges on social media, when rulings do not go in their favour, to put an end to such behaviour. He said such attacks bring the dignity of the legal profession into disrepute.
Speaking at this year’s Ghana Bar Association’s Annual Conference, Mr Dame said the unhealthy practice runs down the legal process and wanes the confidence Ghanaians have in the judiciary.
He described the trend as ‘unprofessional’.
“I observe systematic and conscious efforts by some lawyers to denigrate the judiciary and undermine public confidence in the sound administration of justice through a deliberate misrepresentation of the effect of court rulings as well as false and vitriolic commentary on electronic and mass media purely inspired by a vile motive to run down the Judiciary,” he said.
He indicated that some lawyers run commentaries on issues before the court, and predict how such issues should be adjudicated.
For him, the perpetrators have calculated efforts to force the hands of the judge to deliver the verdict in a particular manner or to whip up sentiments of the public against the particular court hearing the matter in the event of an outcome not favourable to them.
“These practices are vicious and misguided, to say the least,” he emphasized.
In a related development, a group of lawyers have charged the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to redeem what they call the “sinking image” of the union.
The lawyers argue that the legal profession has become a pale shadow of itself.
In an open letter to the Bar, the lawyers observed that the indolence of the association had paved the way for illegality, abuse of rights and injustice to fester.
The letter signed by about 30 legal professionals suggests that “confidence in the GBA is at its lowest; and the reputation of the GBA as a vanguard of truth, justice and accountability has lost its shine.”
The statement explained that though learned citizens occupy high positions across the country, “to whom much is given, much is expected.”