Lawyers urged to prevent loss of confidence in justice system
A lawyer, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), has urged lawyers to bear in mind at all times that their services are geared towards maintaining the fabric of the society and preventing general disaffection or loss of confidence by members of the society in the justice system.
He stated this at a dinner organised in honor of Dr. Oladapo Olumide Olanipekun SAN, on his recent conferment into the inner Bar as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
The event which was well attended had a roll call of who is who in the legal profession, ranging from members of the outer and inner bar, judges and captains of industries.
Speaking on the topic, “The legal profession and professionalism”, Oyeyipo stated further that, it is of paramount importance to note that a Legal Practitioner is a professional. He is practicing a profession, which appears quite obvious but the full implication of this is often lost on many, including those engaged in the profession.
“I make bold to say that the possession of a law degree and call to bar certificate is only prima facie proof that the holder is a professional lawyer. There is much more to it. A professional is a member of a profession as stated earlier, he stated.
He also stated further that, lawyers are therefore as necessary to the existence of human beings in societies as the very air we breathe. “Without law and order chaos will be the order of the day”, he declared.
Oyeyipo described the Legal Profession as about the most reviled profession in the world, saying: “I do not know of any profession that has been the subject of snide, cruel and distasteful remarks and attacks by the very public which it seeks to protect.
“A Legal Practitioner is therefore a person who holds himself out as belonging to a group of people who render professional legal service to the community and who is bound to apply skill, competence, diligence, confidentiality, honesty and impartiality in the performance of the service.”
He also admonished legal practitioners to be of good conduct towards the courts as it is the measure of a lawyers professionalism.
The correct attitude to the court, according to him, is one of deep respect, candor and readiness to uphold the dignity of the bench at all times.
He further added, that a legal practitioner should not mislead the court on a point of law or issue of fact.
“If counsel misleads the court on the facts to the knowledge of the client, the client will definitely take a dim view of the profession”, he concluded.