The recent mass failure at the Ghana school of law brings to bare another orchestrated agenda set out to discourage young energetic men and women who aspire to be legal practitioners in future.
On Monday,22nd September,2019, the independent examination board through the general legal council published the list of students who were successful in the entrance Exams to the Ghana school of law. The overall students who sat for the exams were 1820 but according to the notice,only 128 were successful for the entry.
What is more disturbing is that, these results cannot be contested neither can students request for their scripts for remarking in view of the fact that, these students were forced to sign an undertaking particularly on non-disclosure of results before they sat for the exams.
According to the general legal council, the said unlawful and obnoxious undertaking students were asked to sign before they finally sat for the exams is more superior than Article 21(1)(f) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana. The very supreme law that gives every citizen the right to obtain information which the right to request for their “marked papers” is not excluded under the law.
I am happy that, the likes of Professor H.Kwasi Prempeh and other lawyers have all thrown their support to LLB students to use every available avenue within their means to fight this archaic style of legal education in Ghana.
It must also not be forgotten that, Ms Sophia Akuffo, the current chief justice of the Republic of Ghana who chairs the general legal council in recent times openly declared her unwavering support in respect of this ugly style of legal education. According to her, so far as she continues to chair the general legal council, Ghana would not “mass produce lawyers” for reasons not in tandem with logical reasoning is an evidence that, those students who were denied entry on the basis that, they failed entrance exams to Ghana school of law is a deliberate ploy by some people who think that, the legal profession is their bona-fide.
In recent times, Professor S.K Asare have had cause to challenge the general legal council in the supreme court concerning this same entrance exams and interview conducted under the auspices of of the very people who are supposed to have known better. The most disgraceful aspect is that, the court declared the interview part of the selection to makola as unconstitutional and advised the general legal council either to amend the legal profession Act,1960(Act 32) to have the “interview part “inserted or abandon same in the years ahead.
The general legal council which is made up of the Attorney General, President of the Ghana Bar Association, the chief Justice and some senior judges of the supreme court didn’t know that, interview as part of selection to makola was not provided by the very law they derive their powers from until Professor S.K Asare took them to the supreme court.
As we speak, the General legal council through the AG has presented a bill to parliament seeking to amend Act,1960(Act 32). In that Bill, eighteen amendments have been proposed and the most annoying part is that, the laughable memorandum accompanying the bill in itself offends article 106(2)(a) of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana. The Bill is also seeking to include “interview” which in previous Years was used to knock down students who passed the common entrance exams.
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The legal profession amendment bill inter-alia seeks to introduce a quota system of law students enrollment in the various universities both public and private. It is sad that, in this 21st century where lawyer to citizen ratio continues to be low, we are still not interested in restructuring our legal education because, the very people who are to ensure that, this is done have decided not to pay attention to this disturbing situation.
I am by this medium calling on every LLB student to rise up and fight the oppressor by joining the scheduled demonstration by the Students’ Representative council of the Ghana school of law in registering our displeasure concerning the attempt by the GLC to kill the dreams of those aspiring to be lawyers and Judges in future.
Our legal education is fraught and same must see a total overhaul. What at all is preventing the GLC from accrediting institutions running LLB courses to run professional law courses concurrently so that at the end of the day, those who successfully complete their LLB courses would not converge at makola but would “straight away” sit for bar exams?
Peprah Kyei BaffourLaw Studentmcbrainpee@gmail.com