Law Society threatens to crack whip

Law Society threatens to crack whip

MASERU -Law Society of Lesotho President Advocate Tekane Maqakachane wants individuals who are “assaulting the dignity and authority of the courts and judges” to be disciplined.
In a statement to the media this week, Maqakachane said some members of the Law Society had engaged in “unprofessional conduct” both in court and on social media platforms.
He said some members had “crossed the line” by making “disparaging” comments scandalising Acting Chief Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase.
Maqakachane’s comments come in the wake of complaints lodged by Justice Mahase recently over the conduct and behavior of some legal practitioners who were involved in cases involving the All Basotho Convention (ABC) that are before the High Court.

She has also raised concerns following what she said were personal attacks against her by some litigants on social media and on local radio stations.
The judge lodged these complaints with the Law Society.
Maqakachane said they were also deeply concerned with what appeared to be the flouting of rules by the Court of Appeal regarding the authority of the Chief Justice to regulate the distribution of the business of the High Court.

He said the Law Society had also taken note of charges of conflict of interest levelled against Justice Mosito in the ABC case involving the Koro-Koro constituency.
The Law Society said it was concerned with the poor communication between Justice Mahase and Court of Appeal President Kananelo Mosito which “does not augur well for the proper administration of justice”.

He said such a situation might bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
Maqakachane said Lesotho has seen such power struggles in the past “where the head of the judiciary and the President of the Appeal Court do not work together in the interest of justice and the rule of law”.

“The then Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla and then President of the Court of Appeal Justice Michael Ramodibeli did not see-to-eye and were involved in a bitter tussle as to who was senior.”
The result was a serious disruption in the functioning of the justice system in Lesotho.
Maqakachane said it is important for every legal practitioner to respect the courts and its judicial officers.
He said the Law Society Council has called upon judges to “uphold their oath of office and administer justice without fear or favour in the interests of proper administration of justice and the rule of law”.

Maqakachane said members of the Law Society who are found guilty of flouting the rules will face serious disciplinary measures.
The Council urged Basotho to exercise restraint and not engage in conduct that vilifies and scandalises the courts on social media and other platforms.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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