A High court judge, Mrs Justice Gifty Agyei, has been criticised for overstepping her bounds after she quashed a disciplinary ban imposed on a lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu for unethical behaviour.
Sam Okudzeto who is a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council which slapped a three-year ban on the lawyer, said only the Supreme Court can overturn decisions of the GLC.
“What are you reversing?” he questioned the capacity of the judge at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court.
The court presided over by Mrs Justice Gifty Agyei in her July 11, 2018 ruling. upheld Francis Sosu’s claim that his human rights had been violated by the GLC’s ban imposed on June, 1, 2017.
Photo: Francis-Xavier Sosu
He was found guilty of overcharging a client and also violating the legal profession’s code of conduct rule which enjoins lawyers not to advertise their services.
But quashing the ban, Justice Gifty Agyei said there is no specific law that classified touting and advertising as a grave professional misconduct in the legal profession.
She also observed a breach of the laws of natural justice stating that the GLC was the complainant, prosecutor and adjudicator with regard to the touting and personal advertisement charge.
Just as the judge criticised the GLC for exceeding its jurisdiction, Sam Okudzeto also criticised her for overstepping her boundaries.
“Sometimes, some of them don’t understand because a High court purporting to overturn a decision of a Disciplinary Committee forgetting that on the committee, you had three Supreme Court judges, ” he said on Joy News one-on-one interview programme Upfront with Raymond Acquah Thursday.
Sam Okudzeto who has practised law for 54 years at the bar said with the GLC stocked with Supreme Court judges, it is impossible for a High Court to overturn its decisions.
“What makes the High Court judge think that [she] understands the legal issues more than the Supreme Court judges taking the decision?” Okudzeto who is also a member of the Council of State asked.
He defended the GLC decision to ban the lawyer because although he said he was providing pro bono services, he still charged a client, Francis Agyare ¢50,000 after he helped him obtain ¢200,000 compensation for his 14 years of unlawful incarceration.
“If you say pro bono, why are you collecting money from the people? Pro bono means free,” Sam Okudzeto said.
The former GBA President said if Francis Sosu doesn’t change his mentality, “he will soon get into trouble”
Watch the entire interview