The first Deputy Speaker, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu, has expressed grave concern about the growing phenomenon of indiscipline among the Ghanaian populace despite several enactment of laws in the country.
He decried the attitude of some drivers failure to observe road traffic regulations; public officials who indulged in corrupt practices; politicians who engaged in acts of impunity; security officials inability to enforce the laws; among many others, as some of the indiscipline in the country.
He said following the exponential growth in the faculties of law in the country, many heads of agency or department in the public sector were receiving legal education and wondered “why the laws of the country are so often observed in breach.”
Hon. Owusu stated these remarks during a roll call ceremony organized by the Faculty of Law to formally induct 63 students into the Faculty. Accordingly, he admitted that,” It appears the increase in the number of people obtaining legal education is inversely proportional to the number of people applying the law to our everyday activities.”
In his view, legal education and practice should generate in every law graduate, academic or professional “a gargantuan sum of loyalty to the law”, noting that “At least that is what my legal education and practice has generated in me. I cannot suffer a breach of the law without consequences through due process”.
Hon. Owusu, who is the Member of Parliament for Bekwai, suggested that legal education should, as part of its content, have courses and practices that deliver ethics and values which every law degree holder or professional lawyer should hold dear and be willing to die protecting. He underscored that law enforcement could increase the revenue stream of the national kitty and also reduce revenue losses, maintenance costs and many others.
He added that loyalty to the law as a value advertised by every law graduate would thrive on purposeful programmes carefully inculcated in students and, pointedly nurtured and mentored to grow as a tool of law enforcement right from the beginning of legal education. He admonished the law students that their loyalty to their training should not end with the oath of Junior Member, but they should remind themselves with every content of the oath.
He charged the students to be guided by character, competence and care in all their endeavours. “By all means be competent at the law, study hard, get all the values but be fair and honest in all your dealings with all persons and finally empathize with all people especially the people who are weak and vulnerable,” he advised.
For his part, the Dean of the Faculty, Mr. Kujo E. McDave, congratulated the new students on their admission and urged them to take their studies seriously. He told the fresh students that their training was, therefore, to prepare them in a comprehensive way to enable them to place the requisite value on their clients and all persons they would deal with.
Mr. McDave advised them to inculcate in themselves the nobility of rendering service to persons who may not be able to afford the prescribed professional fee. That, he noted, would ensure that their achievements as professional lawyers were not only just for their personal interest, but also to benefit the society at large. “So in your church, in your family, in your districts, in your interaction with humanity at large, endeavour to take up some cases that you will do free of charge: Pro bono cases”, he added.
The ceremony- which saw His Lordship Justice George Koomson, Commercial Court, Accra, administer the oath to the students - was also used to reward deserving students on the Dean’s Honor list for their academic performance.
The event was chaired by Prof. Francis Amuquandoh, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.