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Include dress code in legal ethics for law students – Chief Justice

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Gertrude Torkornoo, Chief Justice, has backed the inclusion of legal ethics education in law school curricula.

According to her, the project will advance the discipline-appropriate culture within the legal industry. “I am aware that the inclusion of legal ethics as a course in law faculty curricula is being actively considered.

“Permit me to suggest that this curriculum be accompanied with directions on dress code and other codes of behavior that necessarily follow the life of a legal practitioner to increase the ethical requirement for propriety.”

Speaking at the opening of the inaugural Gertrude Torkornoo Moot Court Competition at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School in Accra, Chief Justice Torkornoo was giving a public lecture.

“Ethics, Compliance, and Accountability: A Holistic Approach to Adjudication” was the theme of the public lecture.

Participants in the national Gertrude S. Torkornoo Moot Court Competition would come from different law faculties throughout Ghana. Students would be able to hone their advocacy and litigation skills on this platform, which would help them get ready for work in their future legal careers.

The Chief Justice gave participants an education on the role that ethics play in adjudication and successful lawyering, as well as the role that compliance plays in successful lawyering and an adjudicator’s holistic approach to ethics.

She explained to law students that a successful career was largely dependent on discipline, which is an ethical value. “Behavior that is enforced is discipline.” Discipline bears the fruit of excellence for the practitioner when it is ingrained in the culture.

The Chief Justice stated that although adhering to ethical principles was a crucial component of practicing successful law, the justice system was primarily strengthened by the constitution, laws, and professional codes of conduct.

To ensure that citizens who are entitled to justice are adequately served, legal professionals must adhere to a gentle set of directional signposts that guide them toward the standards of intellectual delivery. In other words, upholding ethical values should not be viewed as an annoyance that ruins the polished catwalk of lawyering.

She mentioned that independent thought, competence, diligence, and integrity were additional skill sets.

These, according to her, gave experts the capacity to accurately analyze the facts and identify the boundaries of legal principles.

She maintained that ethical principles should be applied in the conduct of legal work as it was required by the constitution and should not be limited to the domain of morality and philosophy.

She stated that the nation’s fundamental ethical standards for its justice system were outlined in the 1992 Constitution.

These, according to her, included the judiciary’s independence in the administration of justice, judges’ integrity as a pillar of their character, their competence in carrying out their duties as judges, and their diligence in running the court’s operations.

Comparing the role of ethics in adjudication with the success of successful legal practice, the Chief Justice stated that the former stems more from the application of skill and morality than from a thorough understanding of the law.

The Chief Justice expressed her excitement about the Moot Court Competition, noting that GIMPA School of Law had provided faculty members and law schools with special chances to incorporate into the curriculum a learning contest that used moot court arrangements to teach skills and values.

The GIMPA School of Law’s Lecturer and Chair of the Moot Court and Clinical Legal Education Committee, Dr. Enam Antonio, stated that the Moot Court has been elevated to an extracurricular activity. Dr. Antonio claimed that the Moot Court would aid students in understanding Ghanaian law.

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