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Editorial News of Monday, 4 October 2021

Source: GNA

Ghana School of Law - trailblazer of legal education in Ghana

Frontage of the Ghana School of Law Frontage of the Ghana School of Law

Demands by Ghanaians for legal services led to the enactment of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1958, by Parliament in the year 1958.

The Act created the General Legal Council (GLC) and charged it with the responsibility of organising, inter alia, legal education in Ghana.

To start with, the GLC established the Ghana School of Law (GSL) and mandated it to start professional legal training.

The Ghana News Agency gathered that GLC’s first meeting on the mandate was held in the Supreme Court building on September 3, 1958 by the first Ghanaian Chief Justice, Sir Arku Korsah.

The Legal Practitioners Act of 1958 also created the Board of Legal Education, reportedly, with GLC asking it to perform the following functions:

1. Administration and supervision of legal education

2. The establishment of such Courses of Instruction as the Board might deem necessary or expedient

3. The conduct of examinations and publication of examination results.

In December 1958, the Ghana School of Law (GSL) was officially opened in temporary premises in the Supreme Court with 97 students.

The 97 students were selected out of about 600 applicants desirous of pursuing legal education in the then young independent Ghana, a brochure on the School, said.

Some of the 600 students failed the first class examination. Others abandoned the course.

On March 1959, the students moved into the present premises at Makola in the Central Business District and late Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, unveiled a plague after the School’s completion.

Out of the 97 students, only nine were enrolled as lawyers on June 22, 1963.

They were: G.E. K Aikins, D.M. Akotiah, S.H. Anancy, A.K.Bannerman-Williams, F.E. Creepy, J.E.Essiem, W.E.Offei, W.Osafo Buabeng, and P.K Senayah.

A number of amendments were made to the various programmes of the GLC later, leading to what became known as the Preliminary Law Course for non-law graduates and Professional Law Course for enrolment to the bar.

The GSL has over the past 60 years trained and produced lawyers who today work as magistrates, judges, solicitors, politicians’ senior management executives and legal advisors in public and private establishments.

The School is the only professional law training institution in the country and has undoubtedly contributed a great deal to the development of the nation.

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