The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has thrown its weight behind the directive by the Chief Justice for trial judges to call cases of senior lawyers first before junior lawyers.

In an interview with JoyNews, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Association, Saviour Kudze, said it is a call in the right direction; adding it will offer young lawyers the opportunity to learn from their seniors.

He, however, highlighted that “there are instances where directives are given for certain cases to be heard expeditiously; it doesn’t matter whether it is a senior who is conducting the case or a junior who is conducting the case.”

This follows a circular issued by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, which directed trial court judges to adhere strictly to the age-long tradition of calling cases of senior lawyers first.

The Chief Justice explained that his office has noted with concern the seeming disregard for the practice.

“The legal profession, as we know, is steeped in traditions and ceremonies. One of the traditions observed is the practice of calling of persons whose names are on the roll of lawyers, in order of seniority or enrolment, notwithstanding the notion of equality at the Bar.

“It has recently been drawn to my attention, that some Trial Court Judges are not observing this practice in court.

“Whilst the right to call a case out of turn is not absolute and is exercisable subject to the convenience of the court, for the reasons mentioned above, I would request all Trial Court Judges to strictly adhere to this age-old tradition and resort to inviting applications from Seniors first,” the Chief Justice directed.

This has drawn mixed reactions from Ghanaians, with Prof Kweku Azar calling for the shirking of the practice.

But the Ghana Bar Association says legal practitioners should strive to cooperate with it.

“There is a lot to learn at the Court. As a lawyer, reading alone doesn’t bring you up, it doesn’t develop you. How you even frame your cross examination questions, the sequence of questions and when you should even end.

“You will not read it anywhere, unless you listen to it in court. So, I think the Chief Justice’s notice is in the right direction,” Saviour Kudze added.