The General Legal Council (the “Council”) has been receiving complaints regarding the increasing patronage and proliferation of pirated law text books on the Ghanaian market. The Council is particularly concerned as the text books involved are authored by Ghanaian lawyers, judges and academics and their original versions are widely available on the Ghanaian market. There is therefore no justification for the piracy of these books.
The Council therefore wishes to bring to the attention of lawyers, law students, the entire legal community and the general public that the piracy of any text book constitutes an offence under sections 42 and 43 of the Copyright Act, 2005 (Act 690). In January 2018 an arrest was affected on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kumasi. The offender has since been prosecuted, convicted and sentenced.
Lawyers, law students, the entire legal community and the general public are advised to desist from any form of involvement in such criminal activity including patronage of such books as under Rule 9 of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (LI 613), criminal convictions for such offence may result in disbarment or disqualification from a call to the bar as the case may be.
The Council wishes to advise members of the legal profession to patronise and rely solely on the original versions of widely available Ghanaian law text books in order to avoid any form of complicity in a criminal offence, particularly, one which deprives industrious members of our profession of the fruits of their labour and discourages the much needed publication of scholarly works required for the advancement of the legal profession and the law in Ghana.
JUSTICE ALEX B. POKU-ACHEAMPONG
SECRETARY, GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
MARCH 13, 2018