Tag Archives: Ghana

Ghana: Lawyers advertising on social media is distasteful – CJ nominee

June 16, 2017

The Chief Justice nominee, Justice Sophia Akuffo, says she is against the practice of lawyers advertising their services on social media.

She described the practice as “distasteful” which she said amounts to “touting”, which is abhorred by the bar.

There has been intense debate about legal practitioners advertising their services on social media following the suspension of renowned human rights lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu.

The General Legal Council handed Mr Sosu a three-year ban for overcharging a client and another year’s suspension for advertising on social media.

Both legal practitioners and the general public have since discussed the subject with some arguing that the ban was too harsh and unfair.

Some have called for a review of regulations against advertising since the law against the practice dates back to the 1960s and must reflect the technological advancements of the day.

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/June-16th/lawyers-advertising-is-distasteful-cj-nominee.php

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/16/im-against-lawyers-advertising-on-social-media-sophia-afuffo/

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Lawyers-advertising-on-social-media-is-distasteful-Sophia-Akuffo-549062

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/i-don-t-support-lawyers-marketing-themselves-on-social-media-cj-nominee.html

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Akuffo-s-touting-comment-unacceptable-prejudicial-Group-549513

http://citifmonline.com/2017/06/22/general-legal-council-dragged-to-supreme-court-over-draconian-rules/

Saturday, 17th June, 2017

Press Release

From: *UNITED FOR NATIONAL INTEREST.*

To: *All media Houses*

*CJ NOMINEE OUT OF TIME ON ISSUES OF SOCIAL MEDIA & LEGAL PRACTICE IN GHANA.*

It has come to our Notice that the Chief Justice Nominee, who presided over the ban of renowned Human Rights Lawyer for three years for among other things alleged to have advertised himself on face book justified same during her public vetting in parliament on 16th June, 2017.

She is reported saying among others that :

“Personally, I believe that dignity of the bar is as important as the dignity of the judiciary, and the idea of lawyers touting themselves on social media is personally distasteful to me.”

She also added that: “But that aside, the law is there clearly against touting because touting is an improper conduct on the part of the lawyer,”

Again she said “Self-advertisement is one of those frowned on in many jurisdictions, there are some that permit it, but I have not studied the scope of those permissions. But Facebook, Twitter… at the moment will not fall in the permissible areas. You can have a website and put yourself on it…” We note with concern the following:

1. the justifications given by the CJ Nominee when the matter is sub judice by way of Lawyer Sosu’s appeal and yet to be heard has the potential to prejudice Lawyer Sosu’s appeal and highly unacceptable.

She knew very well that the discriminatory decision they took against Lawyer Sosu was on appeal. The least she could have said was that the matter was on appeal and she could not share her opinion on it particularly when she presided over that decision. She should have also told the world which kind of “quality justice” was dispensed to Lawyer Sosu.

2. In a democracy like ours, rule of law and due process must be the preferred options. Article 23 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees the right to administrative justice of all persons including Lawyers. The Nominee and the General Legal Council are not above the laws of Ghana. Quality Justice requires adherence to all the tenets of Rule of Law. The Personal views of the CJ Nominee is not what governs the professional conduct of lawyers. By the Legal Professions Act out of which professional regulations were derived, even when a person is alleged to have misconducted themselves, the professional body would have to be the first adherents of the rules of Natural Justice. In the case of Lawyer Sosu, led by the CJ Nominee all those rules were breached. They were complainant, prosecutors and judges in their own court. How can justice and fairness be done in these circumstances.

3. There is no doubt that the rules on Touting and Advertisement are all outmoded and needs review. When those rules were enacted, information technology had not reached this height. Websites with social networking applications had not developed and besides those rules are clearly inconsistent with Article 19(11) of the 1992 Constitution because they are not specific and no specific sanctions provided. It’s application against Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu is very selective and discriminatory contrary to Article 17 of the Constitution. If the rules will not be amended then all Lawyers must be banned. We have already Complained to the General Legal Council against some senior members like Sam Okudjato and several other lawyers and hope same rules will be invoked.

4. It is very clear that from the responses of the CJ Nominee she is outmoded on issues of social media and it’s influence on legal practice in Ghana. She is not in tune with the modern trend and that can be problematic to the legal fraternity. All standards of definitions of social media includes website. It cannot be said that websites are allowed when the existing laws do not allow it. Guidelines for websites cannot amend a legislative instrument. The General Legal Council must do the right thing.

5. Social media are websites with applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

6. Most lawyers in Ghana have websites which are interactive and allows for social networking. Websites are linked with Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and other internet applications depending on choice. We as a group would advice the nominee CJ to google law firms or lawyers in Ghana and she will be amazed the amount of information available contrary to her view. The Office of the General Legal Council owns a website, but when it’s Notice of Ban of Lawyer Sosu was ready, it was sent through whatsapp, a social media facility. Today, lawyers share laws, cases, and vital information through whatsapp and even some courts have ordered service of writs by substation through whatsapp and Facebook in Ghana and other jurisdiction

From the foregoing we as a civil society group that demands fairness and accountability would like to call on the CJ Nominee to revise her notes on Information Communications Technology.

We believe there may be other considerations other than Legal that was the reason for this ban.

It is in this light that we call on on the General Legal Council, the Ghana Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and all other lovers of freedom and justice to join in the fight against selective justice and systemic injustice.

In the service of Ghana and humanity *Korsi Senyo* (Convenor) 0560-1144-95

Ghana: Lawyer Sosu’s 3-yr ban stayed

June 13, 2017

Image result for francis-xavier sosu

The three-year ban handed to renowned human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu by the General Legal Council (GLC) is to be stayed.

This follows the filing of an Application for Stay and/or suspension of his ban pending an appeal against the GLC’s decision.

Lawyer Sosu was sanctioned almost two weeks ago after being found guilty of professional misconduct under Rule 2(4) of the legal profession (professional conduct and etiquette).

According to the GLC, he had advertised his law firm on Facebook and also overcharged one of his clients, Francis Agyare.

“Lawyer Sosu was convicted on his own plea of guilty, on both counts and was sentenced to a period of three years suspension commencing June 2, 2017 and ending 1st day of June, 2020. He is to be mentored by a senior and for a period of one year commencing 2nd June, 2020 and ending 1st June 2021,” a statement announcing his suspension partly read.

But in accordance with Section 27(2) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1997, (C.I 19), the execution of the ban has been stayed pending the hearing of two separate applications the troubled lawyer filed on Tuesday, June 13th at the Court of Appeal.

The Court has fixed Tuesday, July 4, to hear the case.

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/lawyer-sosu-s-3-yr-ban-stayed.html

http://www.newsjs.com/url.php?p=http://starrfmonline.com/2017/06/05/legal-aid-backs-sosus-decision-to-appeal-ban/

http://www.newsjs.com/url.php?p=http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/general-legal-council-review-lawless-sentence-on-francis-sosu-cudjoe-id6786055.html

http://citifmonline.com/2017/06/14/xavier-sosu-applies-to-halt-execution-of-3-year-ban/

http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2017/June-16th/sophia-akuffo-must-rid-legal-council-of-archaic-rules-imani.php

Daily Graphic, June 15, 2017

FROM GHANA DISABILITY FORUM

TO: The Chairman Ghana Legal Council, Accra Ghana.

13 /06/ 17

Dear Sir, *LIFT 3 YEARS BAN FROM OUR HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER- RE: JUSTICE TO LAWYER FRANCIS-XAVIER SOSU*

Following the news item on the ban by the Ghana Legal Council placed on Mr. Francis Xavier Sosu who is the legal representative of the above mentioned group that comprises mainly persons with disabilities and their associates (family and friends), we hereby petition with your high office and the totality of your council to reconsider and reduce his ban.

We, numbering thousands of vulnerable persons with disabilities humbly plead that the council temper justice with mercy in the Francis Sosu case, as this would go a long way to continue making justice accessibility and affordability to us very difficult and expensive.

Mr. Sosu over the years has represented us on many cases and continues to do same.

*List of some cases represented on behalf of PWDs by Mr. Francis Xavier Sosu* includes but not limited to the below; – PWDs V Jantuah. – Alexander Tetteh V the Republic of Ghana – Elias Akuamoah V Ghana. Health Services – Charles Kojo Fosu

As is evident from the long list of cases being handled by Mr. Francis Xavier Sosu besides other countless free legal services he renders to the members of disability community and the personal unique touch he puts to us the vulnerable persons, he remains our pillar of hope.

We are also of the view that, the ban of Lawyer Sosu from practice, taking into consideration the offense that attracted such a ban is harsh and discriminatory and does not serve the cause of justice.

We accordingly PETITION your office to reconsider the ban to ensure justice is continuously accessible and affordable through Mr. Francis Xavier Sosu.

Counting on your co-operation.

Yours faithfully,

*Mr. Alex Kojo Tetteh* (Chairman). 0244620971 Cc: His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, – The Chief Justice, Judicial Services. – -The President, Ghana Bar Association. – The Human Right Desk, UNDP. – Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. – Human Rights Advocacy Centre.

Ghana: Reverse Sosu ban: NGO petitions General Legal Council

June 12, 2017

Francis Xavier Sosu Lawyer New

The Centre for Victims of Injustice (CenVI) has petitioned the General Legal Council (GLC) to withdraw the three-year suspension slapped on private lawyer Fancis-Xavier Sosu.

The GLS suspended Mr Sosu for what it described as violation of advertisement and for charging excessive legal fees.

CenVI said in a statement that it does “not support any act by lawyers in breach of the professional code of ethics by the General Legal Council, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), or anybody that lawyers subscribe to” and further registered its “dissatisfaction on the decision reached by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council with a three-year ban on lawyer Sosu from practising as a lawyer”.

Below is the full petition:

PETITION FOR REVERSE OF 3-YEAR BAN FROM LEGAL PRACTICE AGAINST LAWYER FRANCIS-XAVIER KOJO SOSU BY THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL, GHANA.

This petition is to repeal “The 3-year ban against lawyer Francis -Xavier Kojo Sosu,” by the Disciplinary Committee of General Legal Council (GLC), as part of its disciplinary measure to check lawyers of the Ghana Bar Association from professional and ethical misconduct contrary to its prescribed Code of Ethics and Conducts.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Reverse-Sosu-ban-NGO-petitions-General-Legal-Council-547397

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Sosu-files-another-appeal-over-suspension-547957

Ghana: Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu appeals 3-year ban

June 7, 2017

Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu

Renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu has appealed a 3-year ban imposed on him by the General Legal Council (GLC) from practicing as a lawyer.

He believes the ban is unfair, and thus has appealed to the Court of Appeals to challenge the reasons given by the GLC that led to his ban.

READ ALSO: Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu vows to challenge 3-year ban

According to the notice of appeal, he is dissatisfied with the decision of the GLC in respect of a charge over estimation of legal fees and believes the GLC erred in their decision.

In a suit filed at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday June 7, he expressed his displeasure with accusations by the council that he overcharged legal fees.

Lawyer Sosu is also dissatisfied with the decision by the GLC in respect of touting and personal advertisement and thus see it as a miscarriage of Justice.

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/legal-prohibition-lawyer-francis-xavier-sosu-appeals-3-year-ban-id6801408.html

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/07/francis-xavier-sosu-files-appeal-to-quash-3-year-ban/

https://www.primenewsghana.com/opinion/manasseh-folders-francis-xavier-sosu-s-ban-the-full-story-hidden-facts-and-questions.html

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/June-7th/francis-xavier-appeals-4-year-ban-by-legal-council.php

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/07/gen-legal-council-must-review-archaic-rules-atuguba/

https://yen.com.gh/93902-law-lecturer-calls-a-review-ghanas-legal-rules.html

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Ban-on-Lawyer-for-advertising-is-outmoded-and-unconstitutional-545453

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/June-7th/clients-of-embattled-francis-xavier-sosu-decry-suspension.php

http://www.manassehazure.com/2017/06/francis-xavier-sosus-ban-full-story-hidden-facts-questions/

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/karma-meet-the-man-responsible-for-lawyer-sosus-downfall-id6788319.html

https://yen.com.gh/93968-lawyer-francis-xavier-sosus-client-speaks-ban-counsel.html

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/june-8th/dont-blame-me-for-sosus-woes-hes-being-punished-by-god-agyare.php

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/June-8th/my-accusations-against-you-was-borne-out-of-depression-agyare-to-sosu.php

Ghana: Human Rights lawyer banned from practicing for three years

June 4, 2017

Human Rights lawyer banned from practicing for three years

– Lawyer Francis Xavier-Sosu is a famed human rights lawyer who is credited with helping many wrongfully jailed Ghanaians gain their freedom

– He has been banned for three years by the General legal Council

– Sosu says he will appeal the decision by the GLC since its a hash one

Popular Human Rights advocate and lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu has been banned from practicing as a lawyer for three years by the General Legal Council (GLC).

He was found guilty of professional misconduct by the General Legal Council.

“The disciplinary committee of the General legal Council formally charged Lawyer Sosu under Rule 2(4) of the legal profession (professional conduct and etiquette) Rules, 1969 L.I. 613 and that he; while acting as Council for Torgbui Afede XIV, in a matter between Torgbui Afede and the Chief of Defense Staff, minister of interior, Attorney General and another took to Facebook with pictures of the parties and comments on the case to the public with his firm’s name, address and telephone numbers attached, with the primary motive of personal advertisement and touting,” portions of the GLC statement said.

https://yen.com.gh/93754-human-rights-lawyer-banned-practicing-years.html

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/03/lawyer-francis-xavier-sosu-banned-from-practicing-for-3-years/

http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/why-lawyer-francis-xavier-sosu-was-suspended-for-6-years.html

http://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/social/201706/316294.php

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/05/review-harsh-ban-on-lawyer-sosu-franklin-cudjoe/

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/05/lawyer-sosus-ban-severe-and-excessive-amaliba/

https://yen.com.gh/93788-legal-council-review-lawless-ban-lawyer-sosu-imani-ghana.html

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/general-legal-council-review-lawless-sentence-on-francis-sosu-cudjoe-id6786055.html

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/If-we-are-not-harsh-indiscipline-will-abound-Okudzeto-justifies-Sosu-ban-544666

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/lawyer-francis-xavier-sosu-s-ban-is-not-mean-sam-okudzeto.html

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/legal-prohibition-okudzeto-justifies-francis-sosus-ban-says-indiscipline-will-not-be-tolerated-id6790618.html

http://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201706/316561.php

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/son-of-agyare-calls-on-legal-counsel-to-revise-3year-ban-on-lawyer-sosu.html