General Legal Council is ‘lawless’ – Francis Xavier Sosu

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Suspended legal practitioner, Francis Xavier Sosu, has descended heavily on Ghana’s General Legal Council, describing the body as one of the lawless institutions in the country that has been victimizing lawyers.

In his view, members of the Council, which is the main regulatory body for the conduct and administration of legal education and profession in Ghana have formed a cartel which doesn’t regard due process in its work but good at intimidating young lawyers.

“…We have a system that seeks to, if you like, victimise lawyers. We have a system of people who have formed themselves into a cartel that would want to sit on lawyers; it’s the General Legal Council,” he told host of Onua FM’s morning show ‘Yen Sempa’, Bright Kwesi Asempa Friday.

Mincing no words, he said he cannot stand the level of injustice currently being perpetuated by the Council whose members, he said have made themselves “dummy gods”.

“If we have a Council that, with all due respect, doesn’t follow procedure; does what it likes, the law says you have to try and come up with laws to deal with cases, you will not do it… You see me I can’t stand injustice,” he said.

Mr. Sosu who is currently under a three-year suspension by the General Legal Council said one thing they were taught in law school was that “the authority of a lawyer is not limited” hence the Council cannot be limiting a lawyer’s independence in terms of his work.

Mr. Sosu was in early 2017 barred from practising as a lawyer for three years after the Council found him guilty of professional misconduct contrary to the code regulating legal practice in the country.

The Council explained the suspension was the result of a complaint filed by one Francis Agyare, a client of Mr Sosu, at the Council accusing him and his law firm F-X Law & Associates of attempting to swindle him.

Sounding blunt, he said the Council has constituted itself into an “arbitrary” body that is “lawless”, declaring “the General Legal Council is one of the lawless institutions I have seen in this country.

Of course, it is very lawless. What is lawlessness, lawlessness is an institution that does not follow due process of law”.

He cited his disciplinary hearing before the Council to support his argument, suggesting he was humiliated, insulted and mocked at by some senior judges on the Council.

“At that hearing, the kind of things that were said…I beg that’s why I usually don’t want to waste my time on this issue,” he said, and mentioned “You’re a disgrace, what a crass, you’ve turned yourself into ambulance” among other statements used by the Council members against him.

“For example, if you go before the General Legal Council and senior judges at the General Legal Council ask you Mr Sosu do you want to use your law to do politics…it’s not fair”.

He added: “When you bring someone to a disciplinary hearing and you make reference to religion, creed, politics you can never be fair.

What has that got to do with the reason why you bring the person before you?” In his estimation, the Council is seeking to “destroy others in order to seek relevance”.

Using Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ phrase, he said: “I have a dream that one day the General Legal Council as it stands, will collapse and replace with a more constitutional body that is so open, that is willing to follow due process”.

He was disappointed that the Ghana Bar Association which ought to seek the interest of lawyers was “in bed with” the Council.