A private legal practitioner and managing partner at Marfo & Associates, Gary Nimako Marfo, says the directive of the Chief Justice of the Republic, Justice Kwesi Anin Yeboah asking all trial court judges to prioritize cases of senior lawyers over their junior counterparts, is a call in the right direction and apt.
The astute lawyer in a post on his Facebook wall also called-out outspoken social commentator, Professor Kwaku Asare and journalist Azure Manasseh over their comments about the Chief Justice’s directive.
According to a statement issued on the 22 March 2022 and signed by the Chief Justice, the head of the country’s judiciary indicated that prioritizing cases of senior lawyers is an age-old tradition that needs to be respected and preserved.
“I would request all trial court judges to strictly adhere to this age-old tradition and resort to inviting applications from seniors first” the Chief Justice’s letter stated.
However, Professor Kwaku Asare, on his Facebook wall wrote the following in response to the Chief Justice’s directive; “You go to court, your case gets called by the seniority of your lawyer”.
“You want to be a public servant; it is determined by your loyalty. You bid for a contract, they look for your Godfather. You want to pick primaries nomination form; they say you have not nourished the constituency”.
“Yabre mu! (we are tired of you)”. GOGO will end the suffocation of Ghanafuo (the people of Ghana)”.
Manasseh Azure, a journalist who is also known to be one who expresses his opinion also took to Facebook and wrote the following; “Sir (in reference to the Chief Justice), this directive is backward. It doesn’t make sense. It is retrogressive. It’s unproductive”.
“Are you saying judges should stop giving time to people who appear in their courts? Or they can give time and disregard them if senior lawyers are present at the time they are supposed to call the case involving a junior lawyer”?
“Please, revise this. It amounts to injustice. Where is the so-called equality before the law? Psychologically, are you not placing more weight on the cases handled by senior lawyers than those handled by their juniors” Manasseh wrote on his Facebook wall.
In defence of CJ Order
In defence of the directive by the Chief Justice and in response to the claims and comments by Professor Asare and Manasseh, lawyer Gary Nimako Marfo, also wrote; “Sometimes I wonder whether it is important for Prof Azar (Professor Kwaku Asare) and Mr Manesseh Azure Awuni, to comment on every matter in Ghana”.
“A little silence will save them some credibility. Every Practitioner in the Courts of Ghana know that a lot of learning is undertaken in the Courtroom everyday”.
“It is not for nothing that some Lawyers decide to stay in the Court room to listen to advocacy when certain Lawyers are on their feet in court, even though they are unconnected to the case”.
“So please, allow the Practitioners to learn in the Court room. There Is nothing wrong in the directive issued by the Honourable Chief Justice” Mr Nimako Marfo wrote on his Facebook wall.