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Justice is meaningless if it becomes a respector of senior lawyers- Prof Asare

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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A Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Fellow on Law and Justice, Prof Kwaku Asare has reacted to the directive of the Chief Justice for trial court judges to strictly adhere to the age-long tradition of calling the cases of senior lawyers first.

In a Facebook post,  Prof Kwaku Asare said:  "Judges swear to truly and faithfully perform the functions of their office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and MUST not favour senior lawyers, thereby showing ill-will to junior lawyers."

"The judge who believes that junior lawyers and their clients should spend their time watching senior lawyers, is likely to be biased, even if unconsciously, by that belief."

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has in circular directed trial court judges to strictly adhere to the age-long tradition of calling the cases of senior lawyers first.

Justice Anin Yeboah explains his office has noted with concern the practice where this tradition is not being adhered to.

He insists obeying such a tradition affords junior lawyers the opportunity to learn from their seniors.

Below is the circular;

To all trial court judges:

Observing age-old traditions of the BAR in calling cases in court

The Legal Profession, as we know, is steeped in traditions and ceremonies.

One of the traditions observed is the practice of calling cases of persons whose names are on the roll of Lawyers, in order of seniority of enrolment, notwithstanding the notion of equality at the Bar.

This practice, among other benefits, affords the young Lawyer the opportunity to learn from Seniors to whom they would not ordinarily be exposed to; thus, enriching the whole legal training experience beyond what is taught in Chambers and other places of work.

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.

I hope I can count on your cooperation.