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General News
Law School launches 48th annual week celebration 3/20/2007
Accra, March 19, GNA - The 48th annual Law Week of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Law School opened in Accra on Monday with an appeal to the students to be committed to a robust and fearless Bar to prevent the re-emergence of despotism and autocratic rule.

Professor Justice A. Kodzo Paaku Kludze, Retired Supreme Court Judge, who launched the week-long celebration, said as future guardians of the rights and liberties of the people of Ghana, the student lawyers had the responsibility to defend the rights and liberties of both the poor, rich and powerful, though that might come with some risks. He said: "You must be painfully reminded that we as Lawyers have not always defended our ideals. We have often assisted dictators to use the law to suppress our people. Dictators love spineless Lawyers, who can transform an illegality into legality."

Speaking on the theme; "The Role of the Law in the 50 Years of Ghana''s Independence", Professor Kludze noted that usually those dictators were not lawyers but rather it was the lawyers, who misused their ingenuity to prostitute their learning to craft laws that deprive the people of their fundamental rights.

"I hope that being aware of our past, you will resist the temptation to assist a dictator to ever impose himself upon the good people of Ghana," he said.

He said during this year''s Golden Jubilee Celebrations, tributes were paid to people from all sectors of the society, including Chiefs, politicians and market women but virtually nothing had been said about the part played by students in the struggle for independence and in the vicissitude of the social and political history of Ghana.

Professor Kludze said some of the reasons lied in the quality of students, who now led the student movements and who were perhaps not interested in the historical truth or were incapable of appreciating what the students of this country had contributed to the social and political evolution.

He noted that at the time of the Convention People''s Party rule, the only independent voice was that of the students, of which he was the President in 1963, who expressed opposition to a one party State, the Prevention Detention Act, denial of free speech and the arbitrary dismissal of Judges.

Professor Kluzde said many of the law students would in the future be elevated to the Bench to interpret and apply the Constitution and be the arbiters of the rights of the citizenry, adding that to discharge their responsibility effectively the students must assiduously apply themselves to the study of Law.

He commended the SRC for committing itself to the annual lectures on the infamous Baffuor Akoto''s case, which served as a reminder that in the different stages in the nation''s history people were denied their basic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association and endured the frequent imprisonment of ordinary citizens, who had no access to the courts.

He said the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) was unhappy regarding the administration of the Ghana Law School and called for steps to be taken quickly to get a substantive Director to fully handle its affairs.

Madam Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director for Public Prosecution, on behalf of the Attorney General, said efforts were made by Lawyers to defend the defenceless throughout the history of the country that was interspersed with military rule.

She said, there were situations where laws were open-ended, which made one to easily fall foul to it adding that though things looked normal currently, there was the need for Lawyers to remain vigilant so as to fight for the rights of the citizenry.

Madam Aikins said the quest for independence was pushed by many Lawyers including some members of the Big Six and that it was necessary for the students to maintain this achievement by ensuring that the rule of law prevailed.

Professor Nii Ashie Kotei, Acting Director of the Ghana School of Law, commended the staff, especially the teachers for their role in maintaining the high academic standards of the School.

He said without good Lawyers to maintain the rule of law, Ghana would have been affected by the series of conflicts that had plagued other African countries.

Mr Sam Pee Yarley, President of the SRC, said as an Executive they decided to concentrate on issues that affected the welfare of students as their main goals by providing the basic human needs of the students. He said, apart from providing water dispensers and re-aligning the sewerage system, they had also constructed an SRC plaza that consisted of four offices, a restaurant, a restroom and a Barrister''s shop where for the first time in Ghana students could buy their wigs and gowns and other legal accoutrements.

Mr Kwami Tetteh, President of the GBA, who chaired the programme, said structures for the rule of law were present in Ghana and that called for celebration.

He reiterated the need for a substantive Director for the School and urged the SRC to use the Law week to educate the public on their rights and responsibilities and to reflect on their activities to advance their cause. The Ga Mantse, King Tackie Tawiah III and some members of the Ga Traditional Council; Nii Adjiri Blankson, Mayor of Accra and high-ranking members of the Ghana Bar Association were present at the occasion. Activities for the celebration include a lecture and a dinner dance where personalities, who have contributed to the maintenance of the rule of law, would be awarded. 19 March 07Source:
GNA

 
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