General Legal Council to Probe Lawyers’ Bar Election Misconduct

General Legal Council (GLC).jpg

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The General Legal Council (GLC) has on May 24, 2024 issued a strong condemnation following the gross misconduct exhibited by legal practitioners at the Sierra Leone Bar Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on May 17-18, 2024. The GLC, mandated to regulate lawyer conduct under the Legal Practitioners Act 2000 and its Codes of Conduct 2010, convened an emergency meeting on May 24 to address the situation.

The meeting, which Madam Tuma Adama Jabbi recused herself from, saw Council members express deep disappointment over the violent behavior displayed during the Bar elections on May 18. Disturbing scenes of lawyers storming the stage, throwing tables, chairs and voting materials went viral on social media, causing widespread outrage among the public and the legal community.

“The General Legal Council strongly condemns this violent and dishonourable conduct, which tarnishes the noble profession of law,” a statement read. “Such actions do not reflect the high standards expected of legal practitioners.”

The Council clarified that while the conduct of the Bar elections is under the jurisdiction of the courts, the unprofessional behavior witnessed falls within its purview to address. The Council expressed regrets that the chaos prevented them from delivering a planned address on professional ethics, which might have helped maintain order.

In response to the incident, the GLC has formed a five-member investigation committee tasked with probing the violent actions and recommending appropriate disciplinary measures within two weeks. The committee members are:

– Justice Tonia Barnette (JA) – Chair
– Ibrahim Sorie Yillah Esq – Member
– Chukwu Emeka Taylor Esq – Member
– Musa Mewa Esq – Member
– Kadija Zainab Bangura (Ms.) – Member & Secretary

The Council reiterated the importance of maintaining professional conduct at all times, including on social media, in line with the Legal Practitioners (Code of Conduct) Rules, 2010.

“The legal profession demands high standards, dignity, and reverence,” the statement concluded. “Good conduct does not go on vacation and should be exercised at all times.”



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