The Chief Justice nominee Justice Sophia Akuffo has described lawyers advertising on social media as distasteful.
Justice Akuffo’s comment comes in the wake of the suspension of popular Human Rights lawyer Francis Sosu for advertising on Facebook by the General Legal Council.
His suspension sparked a debate amongst a section of the public and some lawyers who argued that the law preventing legal practitioners from advertising was outmoded and needed to be repealed.
But speaking at Parliament’s appointments committee during her vetting Friday, Justice Akuffo said allowing lawyers to advertise is wrong and breaches the laws and ethics guiding the noble profession.
“Am a 67-years-old woman and I believe that dignity at the bar is as important as dignity of the judiciary…the idea of lawyers touting themselves on Facebook is personally distasteful to me and aside that the law is clear and the law is against touting.
“Lawyers can have websites but the law doesn’t allow for advertising on social media,” Justice Akuffo said adding that there are jurisdictions that permit the use of social media in legal work but she is yet to study that.
Sophia A.B. Akuffo has been a Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana for the past two decades.
Sophia Akuffo trained as a lawyer under Nana Akufo-Addo who had her Masters in Law (LLM) from the Havard University in the United States.
She has been a member of the Governing Committee of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force.
In January 2006 she was elected one of the first judges of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights initially elected for two years, she was subsequently re-elected until 2014 and is at present serving as Vice-President of the Court.
She has written The Application of Information & Communication Technology in the Judicial Process – the Ghanaian Experience, a presentation to the African Judicial Network Ghana (2002).
One of her famous cases is when she presided over the Montie 3 in 2016.