Member of the National Democratic Congress’ legal team, Abraham Amaliba says he disagrees with the Attorney General’s condemnation of some lawyers for allegedly denigrating the judiciary.
According to him, lawyers are allowed to criticise him as a public official, and also educate the people on the law by explaining the issues and making it easy for the populace to understand the happenings in court.
Speaking on Top Story on Monday, Mr Amaliba said “I do not think that particularly, when a case is done with and you criticise the judgment, that amounts to denigrating the court, I think the court has a much bigger stomach to accommodate all this.”
“It is when you begin to personally attack judges, like Kennedy Agyapong did in the case of one judge, that for me, is unacceptable. But critiquing the decision and rulings of a court, I have never heard anywhere that, that amount to pounding the minds of people.”
His comment comes after Attorney General, Godfred Dame said that there has been an attempt by some lawyers to denigrate the judiciary and undermine public confidence in the justice system.
According to him, sometimes when cases are pending, some of these lawyers try to create a prejudiced impression in the minds of Ghanaians while some misrepresent the effects of court rulings through “mischievous” analysis on radio, TV and social media platforms.
Delivering a speech at the Annual General Conference of the Ghana Bar Association in Bolgatanga, he said “these practices are vicious and misguided, to say the least. It holds true that the arena for the lawyer to test the strength of his reasoning or the validity of his argument is in the courtroom, and not the airwaves or modern-day social media.”
However, Mr Amaliba believes that just as other public service organisations like the Ministry of Health and others are criticised, Mr Dame’s conduct is bound to be criticized too.
“I think he should have a big stomach to appreciate those criticisms, nobody is criticising him to spoil him, but if there are some inconsistencies in the case and people point that out, that does not amount to destroying him, the bench or the bar.”
Meanwhile, the former President of the Greater Accra Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Frank Davies, says the Attorney General’s point is being misconstrued.
He explained that Mr Dame was condemning the running of commentary by some lawyers while cases are pending in court, something he believes is unethical and unfortunate.
“Lawyers go out of their way to pontificate on cases pending before the court, and most often than not, the lawyers who are involved in that practice, have not even seen the courtroom before.”
“When I hear my colleague lawyers run down judges and decisions of the court in the manner most of them do now, I ask myself whether they will go back to the courtroom, it is a bit unfortunate and very disappointing for the profession.”
Mr Davies said the best avenue for a lawyer to display his legal rage is the courtroom, it is not sitting on radio and giving analysis on cases pending in court, adding it “is unethical and borders on professional misconduct.”
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