Stop denigrating public confidence in the judiciary – AG to lawyers

Godfred Dame has warned lawyers to stop denigrating public confidence in the judiciary

• He said, public criticism of the judiciary reduces public conference in the justice delivery system

• He made this comment at the Bar Conference

Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has stated that over the years, there have been attempts by some members of the judiciary including lawyers to denigrate the judiciary and further undermine public confidence in the justice delivery system.

Speaking at the annual Bar Conference in Bolgatanga, the Attorney General said, when cases are pending in court, some lawyers try to create an impression in the minds of Ghanaians while others misrepresent the effects of court ruling through “mischievous” analysis within the public sphere.

He observed, “these practices are vicious and misguided, to say the least. It holds true that the arena for the lawyer to test the strength of his reasoning or the validity of his argument is in the courtroom, and not the airwaves or modern-day social media.”

Some of these legal commentaries, Godfred Dame said are inspired with a vile motive to run down the Judiciary.

Talking about his recent experience, Dame noted that, there have been some unwarranted attacks mounted against him and a judge after he successfully led the prosecution of an application to set aside the $15million judgment debt as a result of the activities of the former Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining about two years ago.

Dame, then indicated that some lawyers suggested, “rather preposterously and absurdly, that the Judge in question should be removed from office.

“How ridiculous! It is as if they revel in judgments or rulings against the State, and when same are successfully challenged, it is disappointment galore for them.

“However, as long as Mr Dame remains Attorney General, the State will zealously protect its interest in litigation, just as private legal practitioners will protect the interests of their clients.”

The Attorney General added, “Throughout the history of Ghana, the Judiciary has served us well in its capacity to develop fundamental principles and give life to the aspirations of the citizen.

“It is no time to destroy same beyond redemption, or to, may I borrow the words of Lord Toulson at this stage, ‘to give it a funeral oration’.”

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