The Chief Justice nominee, Justice Sophia Akuffo, has said she does not endorse the practice of lawyers advertising their services on social media.
According to her, the practice is “distasteful” and amounts to ‘touting’, a behavior unacceptable by the bar.
[contextly_sidebar id=”dihzwwLuIudVMogVAc16FuOUa2QMmzQX”]Reacting to a question on claims that the judicial service was operating archaic laws that barred advertisement on social media during her vetting in Parliament on Friday, Sophia Akuffo said such issues were mainly regulatory issues and did not have much to do with the judicial service.
However, she said, “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. But that aside, the law is there clearly against touting because touting is an improper conduct on the part of the lawyer.”
She added that, “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 your website.”
Justice Sophia Akuffo, however added that, the laws and regulations within the legal profession were constantly reviewed, and therefore when it becomes necessary, such a review would be done.
Many legal luminaries have expressed their varied opinion on the issue of touting, after a renowned human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu was slapped with a 3-year ban by the General Legal Council for overcharging a client and touting on social media.
Many lawyers said the punitive measure was too harsh and unfair, with others calling for a review of regulations against advertising, arguing that, the law against the practice was drawn in the 1960s when social media was non-existent, hence the advent of social media and other modern communication methods must be considered by the laws.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana