Chief Justice calls for quality assurance in legal education

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Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Wood on Friday expressed the need for the country to maintain quality assurance in the delivery of legal education.

She said the issue had become more urgent this time round given the liberalisation of legal education and the growth of law schools across the country.

Mrs Justice Wood was speaking at the enrollment of 280 lawyers at a ceremony in Accra.

The ceremony which was attended by members of the General Legal Council and former President John Agyekum Kufuor also attracted family members, friends and well wishers of the newly qualified lawyers.

Mrs Justice Wood said the need for legal education appeared even more critical given the shortfall in the human resource capacity of various government agencies, the corporate world and across the spectrum of the Ghanaian society in general.

She said the country finds itself confronted with issues of quality, standardisation and a re-orientation of the focus and concentration of legal education.

She said as regulatory body, the General Legal Council had awakened to the challenge by setting in motion systems and processes designed to balance the virtue of liberation with the necessity of maintaining standards.

Mrs Justice Wood noted that Council in recent times had published a set of pre-entry requirement for admission into the Ghana School of Law (GSL) backed by concrete actions taken to reform the study of law.

She said the Council intends to set a threshold for course instructions and contacts, programme structure and equalisation of entry opportunities through the institution of entrance examination and interviews for all applications.

Besides, there had been calls for the Council to set up a separate examination scheme independent of the GSL but administered by the School through which students would be called to the Bar.

The proposal had the advantage of reinforcing standards as the teacher would be separated from the examiner and the ultimate call to the Bar.

Mrs Justice Wood asked the Bar to take active role in maintaining the highest professional standards.

She urged the new lawyers not to delude themselves into thinking that they had “arrived” at the destination and so there is no need to acquire further training.

She said the skills they had acquired were intended to make them honest, extremely civil in all their engagement with others in and out of the courtroom.

Source: GNA

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