Association mining

The Last Time The Ghana Bar Association Tried To Give Preference To Senior Barristers

The Ward-Brew case against the Ghana Bar Association tells the story of a time when the Ghana Bar Association attempted to institute a program that would give some preference to senior lawyers.

By a resolution passed by the members of the Association at an annual conference, the group resolved to institute and confer on some of its members the Senior Solicitor of Ghana (SAGS) degree and status.

Recipients of this title were authorized to alter the black robe prescribed by the General Legal Council for use by barristers in court by stitching a red lapel to it which distinguished those honored as SAGs from other barristers.

In addition, special areas have been reserved for the exclusive parking of SAGS cars, in the courtyard car park.

Former presidential candidate Thomas Nuako Ward-Brew found this problem and sued the GBA in the High Court.

He represented himself in court while the Ghana Bar Association was represented by current President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Mr. Brew argued that the association had no authority to institute such a degree and status and further that the change in dress prescribed by the General Legal Council for use by barristers in court placed SAGs in a special class, superior to other lawyers, including himself. , as far as potential customers are concerned.

Nana Akufo-Addo disagreed. He argued that since the scheme affected the entire legal profession, Mr Brew had no personal interest in the matter and therefore lacked the ability to bring immediate action.

He further argued that the association dealt with matters relating to the legal profession and could therefore pass a resolution establishing the scheme without legal authority for it.

The Court, however, agreed with Mr. Ward-Brew. He held that (1) Regulations 2(2) and 9(11) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules 1969 (LI 613) imposed a duty on every lawyer at all times to observe the dignity, honor and integrity of the legal profession.

The court said it allowed any lawyer to bring an action to maintain, secure or preserve the dignity, honor and integrity of the legal profession if he believed that these were threatened or impaired by the act or acts of a member or body. in the profession.

The court also ruled that the association had no legal authority for the institution of the Senior Solicitor of Ghana (SAG) scheme without the consent of the General Counsel.

She therefore concluded that her actions were illegal.

The author relied on the Ghana Law Report (No 1)[1883-1994] 2 Ghana Law Report pages 439-453 for this publication.