A Clergy man has advised judges and lawyers not to sacrifice their integrity to expediency and be careful of the kind of people they surround themselves with.
“Do not sacrifice integrity to expediency. In other words, do not fail to do what is right and be careful with the kind of people you associate yourself with. Whether or not they are your learned brother, sister or cousins.” The Most Reverend Dr. Robert Garshong Allotey Okine, Retired Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese of Anglican Church, said
Rev. Dr. Okine was speaking at a special church service for the opening of the 65th Legal Year held at the Cathedral Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Accra on Saturday.
The Legal Year is on the theme: “Improving Access to Justice in a Pandemic through the Use of Technology.”
The ceremony brought together members of the bar and bench, staff of the Judicial Service and Chiefs.
Rev. Dr. Okine, who is also Archbishop Emeritus of the Church of the Province of West Africa, in a 10-point proposal to the audience, said many people were surrounded by people who had evil intentions, citing the use and hiding of electronic gadgets with the sole purpose of implicating people.
He entreated members of the bar to be consistent in all their actions and utterances, noting that inconsistency was a major challenge, that Jesus Christ had to deal with main opponents.
“Jesus teaches us to let our Yes be Yes and our No be No. I don’t think it would be out of place to say that lack of consistency is one of the main problems facing our society today at the national, regional and our family levels.”
Rev Dr Okine said it was important for the members of the bar and bench to always comport themselves.
According to him, the display of unprofessionalism and indiscipline by some of their colleagues always called for proper comportment, adding ” we appreciate your work and pressures you have to contend with.”
Again, Rev, Dr. Okine said sections of the public had raised some questions about the kind of training that some members of the bench and bar received since comportment was not part of the assets they acquired.
The Guest Preacher said the behaviour of bad nuts could best be described as “uneducated professionals or uneducated literates, they have degrees and professional certificates but they are not educated. Let not this be said of you here.”
He said lawyers and judges should avoid complacency in all what they do, adding, if complacency was entertained it could cause great embarrassment.
Rev. Dr Okine tasked members of the bench and bar to be courageous to approach in life, stressing that courage was one of the virtues that one needed to progress in life.
He noted that people had had issues with progress because they did not want to take the risk in life or the fear of incurring losses.
He also said it was prudent for the lawyers and judges to be committed to patriotism and mirroring the love of God to all irrespective of one’s association, church or nation.
“Refrain from corrupt acts and influences, cultivate the right philosophy of life, cherish what is right and fear God in all you do,” he challenged them.
Rev. Dr. Okine appealed to the bench and bar to collaborate with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to hold occasional lectures on national issues and laws to serve as an eye opener for the public.
He said he was happy that God took them through the COVID-19 pandemic and granted them the mental faculty to assist people with their profession.
He further appealed to the bench and bar to make good use of ICT in their profession in enhancing justice delivery in the country.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Mr Yaw Boafo, President of Ghana Bar Association, took turns to read the first, second and third Bible Readings, in that order.
The Clergy led prayers for the Nation, the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.