— Points out key critical issues in the legal profession
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has addressed this year’s annual conference of the African Bar Association in Malawi, emphasising that the issue of transparency and accountable governance in Africa is more about the total disrespect and disregard of the social contract.
According to VP Howard-Taylor, this social contract, which propels governments, organisations, and institutions into existence, is disregarded and flippantly tossed aside once the objective is achieved.
“Therefore, so as they consider the way forward; may each of us keep in mind that issues of transparency and accountable governance in Africa are more than just about round pegs in square holes; or wasted opportunities, or lack of political will, mismanagement, blatant disregard of Governance systems and broad daylight corruption and impunity. But more so about the total disrespect and disregard of the social contract which propels governments, organisations, and institutions into existence; which is disregarded and flippantly“ toss aside once the objective is achieved” the Vice President said.
According to a release from the office of the Vice President, VP Howard-Taylor was presented a medal of merit in leadership by the African Bar Association further averred that the failure to follow rules and regulations, personal aggrandisement, greed, power, lack of patriotism, and other vices lead to the lack of trust and respect by the majority and a total breakdown of systems of governance.
In her keynote address delivered Monday, August 8, 2022, at the AFBA conference currently taking place in Malawi, the Liberian Vice President also outlined three critical points that she considered “negative perception” that must be dealt with by the Bar Association.
The release said VP Howard-Taylor identified access to justice by all; freedom of expression by members of the Bar, and the disciplinary proceedings and punishment by rogue elements within.
Speaking on the theme “Instituting an enduring Legacy of transparent and accountable governance in Africa: Basic Issues and Road- map”, The Liberian Vice President who herself is a lawyer told the conference that Society can only function properly if we as a people accept, abide, uphold and protect -agreed upon rules and regulations for civilised societies; with the firm belief that the final judgments therefrom should normally be predictable, just and acceptable as right.
She, therefore, recommended that to avoid painting members of the legal fraternity black, the AFBA must among other things examine the impact of the negative trends on the majority; whom the profession is sworn to help; provide an opportunity for internal cleansing, purging, correction and punishment of the wayward members of our fraternity; to regain the public trust and creates a new platform which restores public trust, raises the bar for the political will to then deal with both the internal and external environment.
Meanwhile, Madam Vice President has extolled the leadership of the African Bar Association under the extraordinary stewardship of Comrade Barrister Hannibal Uwaifo SAN for convening the 2022 Annual Convention here in Lilongwe and affording her the unique opportunity to be a part of this august occasion as a female lawyer, and keynote speaker.
She holds that the opportunity is a rare privilege which she doesn’t take lightly while raining praises on the AFBA for seeking to transform AFRICA’s Legal Landscape in preparation for the Green African Industrial Revolution.
Before her keynote address, the Liberian first female Vice President was paid a visit by the President of the Africa Bar Association, Mr. Hannibal Uwaifo, and Malawian Justice Minister Mr. Titus Mvalo.The conference, which runs from August 7th -11th was also addressed at the opening session by the President of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who served as the special guest of honour at the conference.