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Ghana Bar Association calls for respect for authority

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The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Friday appealed to the citizenry to respect the dignity of the Office of the President and the Vice-President of the Republic, as well as the Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice and all political leaders, as well as chiefs and their queen mothers.

The Association said these were executive rankings that demanded the highest form of respect from all.

Therefore, when referring to them, people must employ words that match the country’s status as a civilized nation that seeks honour and good conduct in all persons, especially for its leaders.

Justice Kusi-Menkah Premo, National Vice President of the GBA, who read a statement on behalf of the Association at a press conference in Accra, said the Association believed that people must learn to use due processes to address their concerns and grievances rather than unduly attacking such high offices and bringing their names into disrepute.

He stated that flamboyant promises made by campaigning political parties led to calls for their fulfilment upon winning elections and sometimes to acts of hooliganism, vandalism and civil misbehaviour to enforce them.

He called on all political parties to be circumspect and responsible in the promises they made to entice the populace to vote for them.

Justice Premo said the press conference was in accordance with the Bar’s practice to introduce its newly elected Officers to the media after its 2010 to 2011 annual conference which was held this year in Tamale and also discuss proceedings and resolutions adopted by its membership.

He listed the newly elected executives as Mr Frank W.K. Beecham, President, Justice Kusi-Minkah Premo, vice President, Mr Peter R. Zwennes, Secretary, Kwabena Asante-Krobea, Assistant Secretary, Ms Nancy Ampofo, National Treasurer, Mr Anthony Forson Jnr, National Publicity Officer and Mrs Yaa Gyakobo as Assistant Publicity Officer.

Justice Premo said the conference which was held under the theme “Oil and Gas – The Role of the Lawyer in Ensuring the Best Legal Environment,” at the conclusion of its deliberations adopted a number of resolutions regarding the delivery of legal services to the industry.

He said the Association would proactively engage itself with the legislative framework for the oil and gas industry as it evolved, ensuring that members and other citizens were made aware and took full advantage of provisions mandating participation and training of Ghanaians by the international oil companies.

The Association noted that with the formation of a Commission to determine the sea boundary between Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire, government needed to expedite action to ensure security of investment in oil by the country and its investment partners.

Justice Premo said the Association would participate in the formulation of appropriate laws and regulations to ensure transparency and goodwill in accounting, taxation and training regimes of the oil companies by submitting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Parliament to prevent transfer pricing to the detriment of the country.

He said being conscious of its mandate of defending and upholding freedom and justice in Ghana, maintaining honour, independence and integrity of the entire legal profession in the administration of justice, the Bar would, without fear, favour or apology, spring to defend or criticize persons or bodies charged with the administration of justice in the country.

“This would uphold the dignity and respect for law which ensures a law-abiding citizenry and a responsible and fair judiciary,” he said.

Justice Premo said the GBA acknowledged that though it was not a political party, it owed a duty of ensuring that members abided by all rules and regulations of professional conduct in their interactions with the media relating to matters pending before them.

He, therefore, called on the Disciplinary Committee to be vigilant in monitoring professional conduct and take any necessary steps to ensure discipline among members.

Justice Premo said the Bar would not condone corruption, misconduct and discourtesy shown by certain judges and magistrates in the courts and urged the Executive of the Bar to bring such misbehaviour to the attention of the Chief Justice for action, while ensuring that the Disciplinary Committee of the Bar took action where members showed lapses in professionalism.

The Bar also affirmed its commitment to ensure the application of the Rules of Procedure in court to procure full realization of such rules and further intensify the provision of Continuing Legal Education through programmes and projects to enable lawyers to provide effective and efficient service and assistance to both clients and the courts.

Source: GNA

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