Lawyers have been urged to eschew commercial self-interest in the discharge of their service to clients in their quest to seek justice.
Dr Chris Adomako Kwakye, Acting Dean, Faculty of Law of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who made the call indicated that, “the best of the rules is honesty, loyalty, fidelity, diligence, and calmness in offering service to a client”.
“To preserve and, where necessary, to defend the best of the old rules requires honesty, fidelity, loyalty, diligence, competence and calmness in the service of clients, above mere self-interest and specifically above commercial self-advantage,” he noted.
He was speaking at the induction of about 84 students into the School of Law, KNUST at the weekend.
According to the Acting Dean, lawyers were integral to the working out of the law, and the “rule of Law itself is founded on the principles of justice, fairness, and equity, and for that matter, if lawyers do not adhere to and promote these ethical principles, the law will fall into disrepute, and people will resort to alternative means of resolving conflict, giving rise to public discontent”.
He said the legal profession must have the confidence of the community and that the challenge before the legal profession “is to resolve the basic paradoxes it faces and to recognise itself in such a way as to provide more effective, real and affordable access to legal advice and representation by ordinary citizens”.
Dr Kwakye said lawyers were admitted as court officers and, therefore, should serve the court and the administration of justice, because they were the only ones that could take the cause of others before the courts.
In acting for clients, he said lawyers must conduct themselves in tandem with the requirements of the law and avoid dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.
He cautioned the inductees to pay attention to the study of legal ethics espoused in the Legal Profession Act 1960, Act 32, the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969, (L.I. 613) as well as the Code of Ethics of the Ghana Bar Association.
Justice Anin Yeboah, the Chief Justice reminded them that, though the profession might be the second one to some of them, they should not take it lightly with the mindset that being the second profession, law profession was going to be easy.
Barima Yaw Kodie Oppong, Director of Legal Education and Ghana School of Law also entreated them to comply with the ethics and requirements of the school, as the management was enhancing the Awards of Best students who exceptionally performed well.
He said legal education was needed to train lawyers to administer in court and other jurisdictions, and asked them to do away with the perception of examination dreadfulness and believe in themselves that they could make it with positive mindset, as no lecturer would intentionally fail anyone.
Mr Kwame Owusu Sekyere, Ashanti Regional Chairman of Ghana Bar Association, tasked the inductees to take instructions very seriously, especially their attitudes in classroom.
He urged them to pass through the system successfully and become the lawyers they so desired.