A new association of lawyers, the Law Society of Ghana, (LSG), formed essentially, to rival the constitutionally recognised Ghana Bar Association (GBA), has outdoored its logo, Asaase Radio has learnt.
News about the formation of the new law society broke on 5 March 2022, and according to the certificate of incorporation, the new company limited by guarantee has CG012690222 as its registration number and C0061614130 as its tax identification number (TIN).
The LSG logo
The new logo has a building in it and the LSG says it is a symbol of freedom & justice. The building sits on books that represent the 1992 Constitution of the Republic, the laws of Ghana and reference law books for lawyers.
The scale of justice holding even symbolises unbridled fidelity to the principles of rule of law and fairness and the laurel leaf in the logo stands for excellence. There are also stars and the LSG says they represent the shining stars of lawyers in Ghana.
The logo has two colours and they are maroon red and white. The maroon red colour the LSG says is a symbol of resilience, determination and power. The white on the other hand symbolizes victory and success.
The circular image clearly seen in the design of the logo represents togetherness and in defence of law which is translated; “You touch one lawyer; you touch all lawyers”. The motto of the LSG is “Pro Legem”, which means “In Defense of Law”.
GBA’s constitutional recognition
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic recognises the Ghana Bar Association.
By virtue of this recognition, the constitution provides for example in Article 259 (b) (ii) that the Land Commission should have a representative from the Ghana Bar Association.
Article 201 (e) also provides that the Police Council should have a lawyer nominated by the Ghana Bar Association and Article 206 (e) provides for the same with regard to the Prison Service Council, to name but a few.
The constitutional recognition of the GBA puts it in a unique position above any other organization or association that may be formed or incorporated to rival it like the Law Society of Ghana.
Membership of GBA
By convention, all lawyers admitted to practice in Ghana become automatic members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and it is not clear what has necessitated the formation of a rival association and which lawyers promoted or sponsored the creation of the Law Society of Ghana.
The GBA website, indicates that “today, it is factually established that 7,411 have been called to the Ghana Bar since 1877, with about 3,000-odd in local practice.”
By virtue of the existing GBA membership convention, the GBA has 7,411 members. However, the GBA according to its published list of members who are in financial standing for the current legal year is 3,770.
Lawyer Yaw Acheampong Boafo, former national secretary of the Ghana Bar Association was elected President of the Ghana Bar Association on 15 September 2021.
He took over the leadership of the Bar Association from Anthony Forson Jnr after he exited office having served a full three-year term.
Yaw Boafo beat Efua Gartey, in the election held as part of the 2021 annual Bar conference held at the Fountain Gate Chapel, Bolgatanga, in the Upper East Region.
Kwasi Amoako Agyei, the then Eastern Region president of the Bar Association was also elected Vice President of the Ghana Bar Association, beating Yaa Onyamye Gyakobo.
Nana Serwa Acheampong retained her position as National Treasurer of the Association and Kwaku Gyau Baffour who was the assistant secretary was elected the new national secretary unopposed and Saviour Kudze, the then assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO) was elected the substantive PRO unopposed.
History of GBA
The British parliament established the Supreme Court of Judicature for the Gold Coast Colony in 1876, with a Chief Justice and no more than four Puisne Justices.
John Mensah Sarbah was the first native of Ghana to be called to the bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1887.
The legal system was based on that of England, in which solicitors provide legal advice and prepare legal documents while barristers act as advocates in court.
However, this division was not observed in practice in Ghana, and in 1960 an act abolished the distinction. Until the Ghana School of Law was established in 1958, all lawyers were trained abroad, almost always at the Inns of Court in England.
As of 2020, there are over 7,000 practising lawyers, although not all have registered as members of the Bar Association.