Prof Justice Date-Bah honored by UPSA Law: How the CJ, AG, and GBA described the legal luminary

"His journey has been marked not only by intellectual brilliance but deep-seated empathy for the individuals whose lives are affected by the decisions by the decisions rendered from the hallowed spaces that he worked for," the Chief Justice recounted

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

From the classroom and courtroom, he walked his talk into leadership in the transition of Ghana’s Company law and practice as the daunting task of reviewing the Company’s Act of 1962 into the Company’s Act of 2019 needed to be done.

His teachings and judgments have shaped not only how law is practiced but also how parliamentary business and governance are conducted.

These and more were the worthy exaltations bestowed on the affable retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana who was also an Academic and International Civil Servant.

At the Labadi Beach Hotel on Thursday, August 31, the most publicized Honorific Lecture and Award in recognition of his lifetime and Achievement organized by the UPSA Law School partnered by BELA and the Ghana Bar Association took place.

In his welcome address, the Dean of the UPSA Law School described the celebrant as a prolific jurist who showed such fertility of thought hardly marched in the fountain of legal scholarship in Ghana thus breaking paths that continue to define an era.

Also, the UPSA Law Dean said that Prof Date-Bah is an Ambassador of courts who is driven by mission and his desire to demystify the law thus calling him the first ambassador of demystification.

The event was heavily attended by dignitaries including the Chief Justice of the Republic, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkornoo; the Attorney General, Godred Dame, present and former Justices of the Superior Courts of Ghana; Members of the Ghana Bar Association, students and more.

In her address as the Special Guest of Honour, the Chief Justice described Prof Date-Bah as one of the most distinguished jurists of our time who leaves no emptiness where he walks and one who upheld the ideals of personal integrity, the reality of justice, and the rule of law.

Her Ladyship also emphasized that Justice Date-Bah’s journey has been marked not only by intellectual brilliance but deep-seated empathy for the individuals whose lives are affected by the decisions by the decisions rendered from the hallowed spaces that he worked for.

On his part, the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame described the legal luminary as a colossus on the legal terrain whose influence transcends the legal boundaries of our Republic and whose accomplishments are far too many to recount.

He added that through his judgments, Prof Date-Bah established that the law is much more than a set of rules and regulations and that he knows no retirement because even at his retirement he is still contributing to the boundaries of Ghana law.

Speaking on behalf of the President of the Ghana Bar Association, the Public Relations Officer,  Saviour Quarcoo Kudze maintained that Justice Date-Bah’s immense contribution to the profession and administration of justice is unmatched and has played a vanguard and catalytic role in expanding and advancing the frontiers of the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Also, a childhood friend of the celebrant, Prof. Emeritus Albert K. Fiadjoe in testimony, described his friend, Prof. Date-Bah as the Lord Denning of the Ghana Supreme Court.

My Life in the Law has been fascinating

Giving an introspective remark on his life, legacy, and abiding thoughts, the honouree Professor Justice(Rtd) Samuel Kofi Date-Bah touched on his philosophy of the law; Rule of law and Development; and Legal Education.

Philosophy of law

Prof Date-Bah emphasized his philosophical stance as a functionalist implying that the societal impact of legal scholarship and adjudication should take into account their impact on society.

He added that the central focus of legal analysis should be on the society.

Rule of Law and Development

On this topic, Prof. Date-Bah said that the rule of law has a backing role to play in development and emphasized his resolve for a holistic view of development encompassing economic, social, and political progress.

Legal Education

Prof Date-Bah expressed his confidence in the current legal educational structure of the country and thus urged advocates of reforms to keep its holistic evolution in mind as they walk their path.

Also, he bemoaned the fact that the LLB degree is being treated as a terminal degree as the JD in America noting that universities will need to change their curriculum and major reforms before they can take up the training of students in the professional law.

Moreover, Prof Date-Bah called on the various Law Faculties in Ghana to sponsor abled students in the study of Comparative law so as to produce lawyers who will be well versed in the Civil Law tradition to promote our interest in the AfCfTA.

Additionally, he advocated for the continuing appointment of Academics like him to the Supreme Court of Ghana since such persons allow for the inter-meddling of perspectives.

In summary, Professor Date-Bah described his life in the law as fascinating.