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Politics of Monday, 17 January 2022

Source: mynewsgh.com

ASEPA, Dumelo join former NUGS President to push for LLB in the North

Actor and Politician, John Dumelo Actor and Politician, John Dumelo

Whereas 13 institutions in southern Ghana offer the Bachelors in law, there is none in the entire Northern Regions of Ghana.

This situation has led to a campaign dubbed #LLBintheNorth to get a law school to serve the north.

The campaign launched by a former president of the National Union of Ghana Students Sadiq Gombila has had a bolstered membership with actor and entrepreneur John Dumelo and ASEPA’s Mensah Thompson joining.

The group which visited the campuses to interact with management players believes it is high time the north had Universities running the law courses.

“I together with the SRC president of UDS-Nyankpala Campus met the Vice-Chancellor of the University preceding a petition I tendered on the request for the introduction of post-first-degree law in UDS as a flagship program in the North” Mr. Gombila updated.

“Among other things, the VC shared in our sentiments and has pledged his abetment to the course. At present, 13 institutions in the southern belt actively run a first-degree law program while the Northern bights of Ghana have nothing to show.

The VC had stated that a framework would be drawn and the Gbayamli plot (opposite regal hostel) will be earmarked for the establishment of the Law school” he added.

Commenting on the development, ASEPA’s Mensah Thompson said “it is shameful and a blast in the face of the General Legal Council, the Council for Tertiary Education and other Regulatory Institutions that legal education remains a preserve of the privileged South”.

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“The last check on the distribution of lawyers from the Ghana Bar Association revealed an astonishing reality of access to legal services across the country which is a matter of right.

Regions like the whole Oti Region has only one lawyer, some of the Northern Regions have two lawyers, others do not have any lawyer at all whereas out of 4,026 lawyers in Ghana, more than 95% are all operating in Accra. How can a whole administrative region, have no qualified attorney?
What is the impact of this “lawyer-less ness” on the general administration of justice in the Northern and rural communities in Ghana?

Again what is its impact on cost?

Expensive legal services in a country where people earn as little as GHC365 a month is an undeniable affront to access to legal services and blockage to universal justice for all.

This is because lawyers have to travel long distances to represent clients and the cost of travel often hugely also adds to the cost of their legal services.

Whiles, we call for the decentralization of legal education, we cannot leave out the call for a decentralized Supreme Court as well.

I have never understood why someone has to travel from Zanzugu or Bumkprugu to Kumasi for Appeals Court services or to Accra for Supreme Court services.

For cases that can travel up to 10 years, the cost of transportation to the Courts alone would be a deterrent against a viable appeal to any of the Superior Courts.

This is what we call judicial poverty!!

We are without any unwavering gut absolutely in support of the call for an LLB program in the North.

Train more lawyers there and incentivize them to stay.

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