General News Sat, 23 Apr 2022

Denigrating comments by lawyers on social media after court rulings unprofessional – GBA

Lawyers denigrating justice system due to political divide, Godfred Dame

Lawyers criticizing and scandalizing courts on social media unprofessional

This is a profession, we have a way we criticize judgments, Savior Kudze

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has added its voice to concerns raised concerning the posture of some lawyers on social media after judgments have been given on court cases, especially political ones.

Some lawyers have been said to be indulging in commentary that seeks to demean Ghana’s justice system after court rulings do not go in their favour.

The Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, stated that criticizing and scandalizing the courts and judges on social media when judgments do not go in ones favour does not smack of professionalism.

According to him, lawyers who make these derogatory comments on social media should be punished.

Making these remarks at the Bench, Bar, and Faculty conference in Accra on Thursday, April 21, the Attorney-General said, “My Lord Chief Justice, one would have thought that lawyers would have taken advantage of the digital revolution, which I have spoken about this morning, to consolidate the importance of this legal profession and its role in the affairs of the state.

“On the contrary, recent developments disclose systematic attempts by certain lawyers, often belonging to a side of the political divide to deploy social media to denigrate the administration of justice through poisoning and caustic attacks on judgments of the courts, albeit unjustified. This is often worsened in commentary on so-called political cases where some lawyers perceive the outcome to have far-reaching consequences for the objectives of political parties they sympathize with.”

He added “Faced with adverse rulings, some lawyers go to the rather farcical extent of actually advocating for the abolishing or scrapping our courts.

“The most deplorable thing about such endeavor is that many times their vicious comments are plainly wrong yet the propagators of these wrong and dangerous ideas do not relent in their efforts to push them down the throat of unsuspecting public.

“Such disreputable practice on the part of some lawyers further becomes an inducement to persons who are not members of the legal profession to launch even more savage and illogical attacks on the judiciary.

“This conduct is clearly despicable as it has the ultimate tendency to destroy the integrity of institutions of justice delivery in Ghana. Such conducts should result in sanctions inflicted on lawyers in question.”

Speaking in an interview with TV3 at the Bench, Bar, and Faculty conference, Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Bar Association Savior Kudze said “I think that the points he raised were very germane in the sense that this is a profession, we have a way we criticize judgments."

“We do this mostly in what we call Review of Ghana Law, which is a publication by the Council for Law Reporting, so if you have a judgment that the judge has delivered and as a lawyer, you disagree with, what you do is that you write a critique."

He added, “Writing a critique means that you look at the merit and demerits of the judgments and you rely on the law as you know it, come to the conclusion and say that ‘having reviewed the judgment, the judges ought to have given the decision this way and not the way they have done it."

“That is the best way of doing it but going on social media and doing it is not the best because that has an underpinning of emotions and once you are in the realm of emotions your reasoning stops as a lawyer or as a person.”
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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