The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has endorsed the directive by Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, for trial judges to call cases of senior lawyers first before junior lawyers.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah in a statement directed trial court judges to strictly adhere to the age-long tradition of calling the cases of senior lawyers first.
He explained that his office has noted with concern the practice where this tradition is not being adhered to.
He insists obeying such a tradition affords junior lawyers the opportunity to learn from their seniors.
“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.”
Reacting to the directive, the Ghana Bar Association in a statement said “The GBA fully and completely associates itself with the subject matter under reference and lends full support to the adherence to the age-old tradition and practice among members of the legal fraternity, especially courtroom practitioners, of calling cases of persons whose names are on the Roll of Lawyers, in order of seniority of enrolment, notwithstanding the notion of equality at the Bar.”
“The GBA unreservedly endorses the directive by the Chief Justice to ALL trial judges and reiterates the position canvassed in the Chief Justice’s circular that the age-old tradition and practice of calling cases of persons whose names are on the Roll of Lawyers, in order of seniority of enrolment, notwithstanding the notion of equality at the Bar, presents a unique and special opportunity for Lawyers, particularly those relatively young at the Bar, to learn from the rich experience of senior Lawyers, especially the advocacy skills of such senior Lawyers.”
The Bar Association believes this has the huge potential of benefiting people who hire the services of lawyers as the practice affords lawyers, especially young ones, the unbridled opportunity of honing their skills.
It said it has taken note of “various shades of comments and opinions expressed by different persons, particularly persons who are not known to the GBA to have been called to the Bar in Ghana, and therefore do not practice in the courts of Ghana, on the Chief Justice’s position on the age-old tradition and practice, and wish to state that courtroom practice in Ghana and for that matter, the legal profession in Ghana is characterized by certain revered age-old traditions, ceremonies, and practices, which must not be done away with or compromised under any circumstances.”
“The GBA wishes to inform ALL Lawyers that the directive by the Chief Justice to ALL trial judges per the circular dated the 22nd day of March 2022, is also the decision of the General Legal Counsel.
GBA further urged all lawyers to fully cooperate with trial judges in upholding this age-old tradition and practice.