Disciplinary Process & Procedures
A petition to discipline a lawyer must comply wit the following requirement in order to be brought before the disciplinary committee
- The Petitioner shall present his/her petition against the lawyer in question to the Secretariat of the General Legal Council.
- A copy of the petition shall be given to the lawyer in question for his or her response.
- The lawyer in question must respond to the petition within 14 days of receipt of the petition.
- The lawyer’s response is then forwarded to the petitioner for his or her comment.
- The petitioner’s comment is also forwarded to the Secretariat of the General Legal Council for onward transmission to the lawyer for his or her further comments.
- The Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council may then invite the parties for the commencement of the formal hearing of the petition.
- The Disciplinary Committee shall fix a date for preliminary enquiries.
- At the preliminary enquiry stage, the complainant is required to be present with or without a lawyer.
- The Disciplinary Committee will then establish whether or not there is a prima facie case to be investigated.
- After the preliminary enquiry stage, there may or may not be a charge.
- If a prima facie case is established, Counsel for the Disciplinary Committee shall then prepare a formal charge.
- After a formal charge is prepared, the Committee shall then set a date for a formal hearing which takes the form of a trial.
- At the formal hearing legal representation is allowed.
- Both parties are permitted to produce evidence if they have any.
- Counsel for the General Legal Council may then cross-examine the complainant.
- Counsel for the complainant can only ask a few questions.
- When the hearings are brought to an end, a date is set for a ruling.
- The Disciplinary Committee will then debate its final draft ruling.
- At the close of proceedings, the draft ruling will be discussed among the members of the General Legal Council, which is then finalized by the Disciplinary Committee.
- A date is then chosen where the ruling is read to the parties.
- A Lawyer has the right to appeal the decision at the Court of Appeal.
Possible sanctions include the following:
- Formal written letter of reprimand
- Order for an oral or written apology