Judicial disciplinary architecture should be amended-Samoa Addo
The private legal practitioner says the current disciplinary architecture of the judiciary makes the Ghana Legal Council (GLC) the prosecutor and the judge in adjudicating cases brought before it
Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, a private legal practitioner has called for a review of the disciplinary architecture of the Ghana judiciary system to allocate prosecuting powers to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
The private legal practitioner says the current disciplinary architecture of the judiciary makes the Ghana Legal Council (GLC) the prosecutor and the judge in adjudicating cases brought before it.
According to Lawyer Addo, the current system of the Ghana Legal Council (GLC) wielding the powers to prosecute legal practitioners for breaking the legal professional code of ethics, makes it impossible for presiding members of the GLC to report lawyers since such actions would make complainants also prosecutors and judges.
“I honestly think that it is about time we look at our disciplinary architecture in the sense that, the Ghana Bar Association has tabled solutions and resolutions at our bar conference saying that, it is about time the judiciary steps back from disciplinary issues of the Bar.
“This has been a resolution that we have passed not once, not twice at our Bar conference, that there is the need for reforms to the extent that, matters of discipline must be handled by the Bar association,” Addo said on The Forum hosted by Kwaku Agyemang-Badu.
He added, “So that if for example, the chief justice has a problem with a lawyer’s comment or Dr. Ayine has commented somewhere, then he is referred to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA); that look your member has made a comment that undermines the integrity of the institution I head. This is because he [the chief justice] is the head of the judiciary so if he has found a problem with a statement made by a member of the bar, he doesn’t refer it to a committee he has oversight over. But refers it to our professional association, where the issue can be investigated without a possible bias. ”
The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah reported Dr. Dominic Ayine to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council (GLC) for statements he allegedly made during a panel discussion on the 2020 Presidential Election Petitions and their impact on Africa’s Democracy organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana.
This was made known after the Judicial Secretary on 3 June communicated in a press statement that the Chief Justice believed the comments of the former deputy attorney general undermined the integrity of the judiciary.
Dr. Ayine, who was part of the legal team of former President Mahama during the 2020 election petition, is said to have questioned the independence of the judiciary due to how the Supreme Court judged the election petition.