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Uphold professionalism, ethical behaviour & civility in the face of adverse court rulings -AG

Uphold professionalism, ethical behaviour & civility in the face of adverse court rulings -AG

DameSPEECH BY THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, GHANA GODFRED YEBOAH DAME, Esq.

Presentation Summary
In this address delivered at the annual bar conference, the speaker expresses his enthusiasm for the event,
highlighting the significance of comradeship and collegiality in fostering professional courtesy, hard work,
and ethical conduct.

The theme of the conference, “Democracy in the Fourth Republic, Gains, Prospects and Challenges,” is acknowledged by the speaker to be highly relevant to the nation’s current circumstances.

The speaker acknowledges the historical significance of the people of Ghana consistently expressing their desire for
democratic governance, dating back to the “Bond of 1844” and the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society. The establishment of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 further paved
the way for Ghana’s eventual independence.

The speaker lauds Ghana’s status as a beacon of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law in
Africa since the adoption of the Constitution in 1992. He quotes Sir Winston Churchill’s famous statement
affirming democracy as the best form of government despite its imperfections. Additionally, he mentions
former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recognition of Ghana’s thriving under democracy and urges
everyone to acknowledge the country’s progress despite existing challenges.

The speaker identifies seven attributes of a sound democratic state, including individual voting rights, majority rule, eligibility to hold political office, accountable government, constitutional procedures for
changing governments, independent branches of government, and a responsible and free media. He emphasizes the crucial role of the Electoral Commission in upholding democracy through the organization of free and fair elections. The speaker commends the Electoral Commission’s performance during the
COVID-19 pandemic and calls on lawyers to support its election management efforts.
Moving on to the judiciary, the speaker asserts its indispensable role in providing certainty and clarity of the law. He emphasizes that confidence in the integrity of the judicial and legal system is vital for attracting investment, trade, and overall prosperity. The speaker highlights the Judiciary’s responsibility
in making decisions on complex societal issues, applauding the wisdom and impartiality of judges in
upholding justice.

He cites a recent Supreme Court ruling as an example of the judiciary’s commitment to deciding cases without fear or favor, even when ruling against the interests of the Attorney-General.

The speaker expresses dismay at some recent unjustified attacks on the Judiciary by some high level political personalities including a former president. The speaker however commends former presidents
Jerry John Rawlings and John Evans Atta Mills for their restrained approach towards the judiciary. While acknowledging that the justice system has its flaws, such as inadequate legal representation and
prolonged trial durations, the speaker calls for efforts to strengthen legal aid and improve the prison system.

The speaker highlights the state’s commitment to establishing a viable and efficient system of commercial
dispute resolution through the Ghana Arbitration Centre and the aim to make Ghana a regional hub for arbitration and enhance access to justice in the country.

In conclusion, the speaker acknowledges that democracy is not without imperfections but asserts its indispensability. He expresses pride in Ghana’s legal service and its worldwide reputation for excellence.
The speaker urges the legal community to project a strong and unified message about the exceptional nature of Ghana’s judiciary. They call on lawyers to uphold professionalism, ethical behavior, and civility in the face of adverse court rulings. The speaker expresses optimism about the future progress of legal aid
and law reform initiatives and shares commendation from the Attorney-General of the United Kingdom for Ghana’s democracy and justice system.

Read speeches by Justice Jones Dotse, GBA President, President Akufo-Addo and others below:

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Dame CJ

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