Disciplinary Process & Procedures

A petition to discipline a lawyer must comply wit the following requirement in order to be brought before the disciplinary committee

  1. The Petitioner shall present his/her petition against the lawyer in question to the Secretariat of the General Legal Council.
  2. A copy of the petition shall be given to the lawyer in question for his or her response.
  3. The lawyer in question must respond to the petition within 14 days of receipt of the petition.
  4. The lawyer’s response is then forwarded to the petitioner for his or her comment.
  5. 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.
  6. The Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council may then invite the parties for the commencement of the formal hearing of the petition.
  7. The Disciplinary Committee shall fix a date for preliminary enquiries.
  8. At the preliminary enquiry stage, the complainant is required to be present with or without a lawyer.
  9. The Disciplinary Committee will then establish whether or not there is a prima facie case to be investigated.
  10. After the preliminary enquiry stage, there may or may not be a charge.
  11. If a prima facie case is established, Counsel for the Disciplinary Committee shall then prepare a formal charge.
  12. After a formal charge is prepared, the Committee shall then set a date for a formal hearing which takes the form of a trial.
  13. At the formal hearing legal representation is allowed.
  14. Both parties are permitted to produce evidence if they have any.
  15. Counsel for the General Legal Council may then cross-examine the complainant.
  16. Counsel for the complainant can only ask a few questions.
  17. When the hearings are brought to an end, a date is set for a ruling.
  18. The Disciplinary Committee will then debate its final draft ruling.
  19. 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.
  20. A date is then chosen where the ruling is read to the parties.
  21. 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
  • Suspension
  • Disbarrment