General News of Saturday, 3 March 2018
A renowned constitutional lawyer has suggested the dissolution of the Ghana School of Law (GSL) for its powers to be given to some accredited law faculties.
Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang wants the school to be turned into a Council for Professional Legal Education to supervise the Bar examination and training of specialised lawyers.
The Law of Evidence lecturer made the comment at Joy FM’s Thought Leadership programme Friday held at Alisa Hotel to discuss challenges with the country’s legal education.
Tempers were high after the General Legal Council (GLC)’s Legislative Instrument seeking to tighten the admission processes at the Law School was laid before Parliament.
The LI initially sought to legalise the entrance examination and interview as admission requirements to the Law School. The two were introduced in 2012 but the Supreme Court in 2017 held they were illegal and requested the GLC to take steps to make them legal.
Critics and some lawmakers opposed to the GLC were buoyed by the mass failure recorded in the 2017 Bar examination, which had only 91 students passing out of over 430 students who sat for the exams.
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But the LI has received the approval of lawmakers after the interview component was eliminated following an agreement between the GLC and Subsidiary Legislation Committee.
Former Roads Minister, Inusah Fuseini has described the passage of the LI as a “stopgap” for a permanent problem that cannot be postponed anymore.
“The neater way to do is to allow accredited tertiary institutions to run courses and at the end get the GLC to set standard questions for students to write,” he proffered at the event.
Related Article: ‘Shocked’ Inusah Fuseini urges probe into 81% mass Bar exams failure
Even though an estimated 7000 lawyers have been called to the Bar, only 3000 are practising. Mr Opoku-Agyemang says the Law School must now focus on examination supervision and rendering of training services.
“Accredit these institutions and dissolve the Ghana School of Law,” he said of the various law faculties, adding the path will save the country from the ‘impending’ disaster.
He said the GLS is currently producing “examination machines” and not “competent and proficient lawyers” needed.