Ghanaian lawyer Tachie Antiedu has disagreed with the directive issued by the Chief Justice for trial judges to call cases of senior lawyers first before junior lawyers.
The lawyer believes the CJ had no right or the power to have issued such a directive considering the office he occupies.
This follows a circular issued by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, which directed trial court judges to adhere strictly to the age-long tradition of calling cases of senior lawyers first.
The Chief Justice explained that his office has noted with concern the seeming disregard for the practice.
“The legal profession, as we know, is steeped in traditions and ceremonies. One of the traditions observed is the practice of calling of persons whose names are on the roll of lawyers, in order of seniority or enrolment, notwithstanding the notion of equality at the Bar.
“It has recently been drawn to my attention, that some Trial Court Judges are not observing this practice in court.
“Whilst the right to call a case out of turn is not absolute and is exercisable subject to the convenience of the court, for the reasons mentioned above, 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 directed.
Reacting to the directive, lawyer Antiedu opined that although the directive in itself was not bad, the CJ had no such powers to have issued the statement.
He told Kwabena Agyapong on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 897.5Fm that ”I totally disagree with the CJ. I don’t agree with him at all. He has no right or the power to issue such a directive”.
In his view, the General Legal Council that regulates the conduct of lawyers was best placed to have issued a directive.
He further explained that the issue of seniority was not a problem and the lawyers themselves understand it, but ”something which is not done by compulsion is done easily. However, when you do it by compulsion, then there will be resistance.
”Also, the CJ failing to issue this directive as representative of the General Legal Council is problematic, and I disagree with him,” he added.