From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

The General Legal Council
Dec 31, 2012, 12:02

The General Legal Council


Top Floor,7 Walpole Street, Freetown.

16th December 2012




The attention of the General Legal Council (Council) has been drawn to recently published articles in some local tabloids (namely the TORCHLIGHT and the SATELLITE on the 11th and 12th December 2012) about an alleged incident of vile verbal exchanges between two lawyers (legal practitioners) before the Hon. Magistrate Bankole Shyllon at Magistrate Court No. 3 (Law Courts Building) on the 10th December 2012 which they described as falling short of the glory of professional legal rectitude. Whilst Council cannot verify or deny the veracity of the said incident pending its astute investigation into the said matter, Council views the said incident as unusual and isolated and in no way represents the aggregate of the conduct or mannerisms of the rest of other legal practitioners.


However the general public is reminded that there are legal provisions in place by virtue of the Legal Practitioners Act 2000 (Act No.15 of 2000) and the Legal Practitioners (Code of Conduct) Rules, 2010 (Statutory Instrument No. 1 of 2011) in regards unprofessional, dishonourable or unworthy conduct on the part of legal practitioners and Council is statutorily charged with the mandate of regulating the conduct of legal practitioners and ensuring that the legal profession is at sync with the collective expectations of the people or is not otherwise brought into disrepute by particularly few and far between acts or omissions of few legal practitioners.

Legal practitioners and the public are reminded of the provisions of clause 4(2) of the Legal Practitioners (Code of Conduct) Rules, 2010 which states:


A legal practitioner shall act courteously and respectfully towards all persons with whom he has professional contact, including judges, other legal practitioners, court staff, litigants, witnesses, victims and clients.


Council being apprised of the said incident has commenced appropriate communications with the relevant Magistrate and superior benchers in order to meticulously probe into the said incident and undertake disciplinary measures should the need arise.


The general public is also informed that pursuant to Section 31 of the Legal Practitioners Act 2000 anyone can lodge a complaint relating to the conduct of a legal practitioner in respect of that legal practitioners professional work to the Disciplinary Committee through the Secretary of Council. Council reiterates its dutiful commitment to its mandate of regulating and supervising the conduct of legal practitioners in Sierra Leone and assures the general public of its unnerving investigation of the foregoing incident or any other analogous incident.


Council therefore urges members of the profession to conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Conduct and established ethical guidelines governing the legal profession.




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