Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, was the special guest of honour and keynote speaker at the opening of the just-ended 7th Annual Legal Ethics Training, an annual programme organised by the GIMPA Faculty of Law, in collaboration with the African Centre on Law and Ethics (ACLE), for African law students and newly qualified lawyers.
ACLE is a centre for the Law Faculty established in 2017 to facilitate the growing commitment to law and ethics on the African continent. The three-day training programme, which took place from 31st July to 2nd August 2023, at the Daniel McKorley Moot Court of the GIMPA Law School, Greenhill, saw many other dignitaries participating in the programme. Giving her keynote address, Justice Torkornoo could not hide her excitement about how, from a humble beginning, the Legal Ethics Training programme had grown to become a big event in the legal space. She lauded the Faculty of Law, ACLE, and management of GIMPA for the feat. She continued by saying law offers myriad promises to society and the first promise, according to her, was order; law served as a major tool for ordering society and providing direction for every stakeholder in the society. Justice Torkornoo further went on to state that the chief promise of the law, in her opinion, was justice. ‘Law is not justice; Law is supposed to bring justice. There can be no justice outside of law but law can exist without justice. Justice is, therefore, a promise of the law,’ she reiterated.
Law, according to her ladyship, also offers the promise of prosperity and development. She explained this as the means by which people are assured of the safety of their person and assets and the stability of their environment. ‘The rule and protection of the law, therefore, serves as the most positive building rungs for the development of any society,’ she maintained. Her ladyship, in summary, asserted that the promises of order, peace, justice, prosperity, and development could not be delivered by the judicial systems and all regulatory institutions that work with them unless all stakeholders in the legal environment applied ethical values to their work. ‘Thus, it can be stated that it is ethical conduct that delivers the promises of law, hence the study of ethics is critical to the study and practice of law,’ she stressed.
During the breakout sessions, participants were privileged to have their ladyship present on ‘An Introduction to Judicial Ethics.’ Given the purpose of gathering, the Dean of the Law School, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman Badu said the legal ethics training programme represents the ACLE’s mission, which is to introduce law students and prospective ones to the fundamental principles and rules governing professional legal and judicial practice. He said the ACLE, through these sessions, aimed to provide a platform for a comparative, perspective on acceptable standards of practice for lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals. The Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, and his Deputy, Prof. Martin Morgan Tuuli, were there to welcome participants and guests.
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