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Justice Atuguba accuses lawyers of laxity

Justice Williams Atuguba has accused lawyers of sloppiness in the way they prosecute cases of their clients. He was speaking at an ethics programme for law students in Accra.

 
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“There is now great laxity in legal preparations on the part of counsel [lawyers] appearing before the courts, particularly the Supreme Court,” he said a legal ethic programme for law students in Accra, the Ghanaian Times newspaper quoted him as saying.

Justice Atuguba also noted that some lawyers “just come [from] one some legal holiday; they just walk into the court and even forget what their briefs are about. You ask a simple question [and] they don’t know where it is”.

He said this level of laxity fall short of the required standards, though he admitted some lawyers prepare very well before appearing in court.

He therefore admonished the law students and professional lawyers to embrace ethics of the profession.

Lawyers have in recent times come under fire for ethical violations, including judges.

The Chief Justice Georgina Wood in April called on urged lawyers to build their ethical edge and develop their moral fibre to ensure credibility in their profession.

“Make no mistake about this: You can neither thrive nor succeed without morality. Ethics is the instrument through which your knowledge can benefit society,” the Chief Justice said during the enrollment and call to the bar of 59 lawyers at the New Court Complex in Accra.

Last year, some 34 judges were also accused of taking bribes in a sweeping exposé by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Two High Court judges, Messrs Justice Kofi Essel Mensah and Justice Francis K. Opoku, were dismissed in connection to the exposé.

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