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Ghana lawyers must advertise for justice


Photo ReportingGhana lawyers must advertise for justice

The world has emerged and hence everything keeps on emerging and diversifying. This vehicle of emergence has made many professionals to take advantage of the current trends. Business and commerce have taken a new phase and there is constant research to meet the demands of each day. This calls for an eye opening moment for Ghanaian lawyers to take their profession to the next level.

I was in the United States of America for vacation. I spent two months and did make a lot of observation, learning and having fun. But one of the things that I took particular notice of was how attorneys [lawyers] were advertising their professional ability to claim rightful compensation to victims of divers cases. This has created a legal information literacy to people as to where to exactly go in case of victimization and moreover, people have the means to negotiate in case of financial difficulty.

In Ghana, we have numerous illegal issues. Bribery and corruption, domestic and public violence, disasters, child abuse, accidents, etc. In most cases, victims of these unfortunate incidence suffer without any fair compensation. I remember my senior brother was involved in a car accident and all that he got from the car owner was a crate of eggs. What about the insurance company? Or the driver never had insurance coverage/policy on the car? Situations like this must not be forfeited without taking legal measures. Abiding by the law is the sanity of every society. Hence any society with lawlessness is broken. This is why I call upon the legal battalions to take up the media.

At this point we can ask ourselves some pertinent questions. How many people, who get boat wrecks on the Volta lake get insurance compensation? Absolutely none! Because nobody checks whether the boat owner has insurance or not. Again, both Kumasi Central and Accra Akantamanto market have been recorded of frequent fire outbreak disasters which destroy heavy amount of goods. How many of the store owners have been insured against fire disasters? Are they to keep on taking risk of never again fire outbreak or continue to manage the risk of loss? We can also recall the Melcom disaster whereby the collapse of the mall took more than twelve lives. How many of the victims were compensated? And were they giving a just compensation?

It is in the wake of these instances and uncountable injustices and disorders in Ghana that lawyers across the country must come out to advertise themselves to invite individuals who deserve just compensation to be heard in law courts. In most cases, some of the victims are just ignorant about their entitlement. For example, a pregnant woman who have been abandoned by his husband or a mother who lives with an irresponsible man might not be aware of The Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU)* to address her grievances. Most women who go through these social injustices are just ignorant about where they must go to seek justice and the few who knew just don't know how to go about it. It is time for Ghana lawyers to take up the media. They must use every current trend of means in promoting their firms to promote justice, equity and order.

In writing this article, I'm also aware of the numerous challenges that come as a result of this proposition. The corporation of the Ghana police, management of outnumbered clients, amount of lawyers etc. All these are possible challenges that can cripple the effectiveness of lawyers' public advertisement. Nevertheless, the positive consequences on the society outweighs the challenges.

I'm strongly convinced that if lawyers or law firms take up the media to call victims of diverse crimes to seek justice for them, it will minimize disorder and injustice in Ghana. But this great work cannot be achieved by lawyers alone. Social activists and NGOs must all join in this agenda to intervene for the poor and oppressed in the country. If we can see our legitimacy to promote justice and order in the country, then we're on into the glorious state of Ghana. The law must protect the poor and weak whilst it condemns and punishes the unjust.

*WAJU has played a very important role since its inception and has called a very great attention to family care. Many women and children who were abused have been vindicated by this unit.

Source: Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi


University of Lausanne, Switzerland







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