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General News of Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Law school admission case drags as applicants seek to amend writ

Delay in the determination of the suit challenging the way and manner students are admitted into the Ghana school of law is far from over.

Today at the Supreme Court, lawyer for the applicant (Professor Kwaku Asare) moved a new motion to amend their original writ that instituted the case in 2015.

Lawyer for the applicant, Ofosua Amadjei today told the seven member Supreme Court panel chaired by Justice Jones Dotse that they had to correct their writ of summons to bring it in line with the agreed issues.

Additionally, due to the passage of time, new students have taken the exam such as in 2016 and it had become necessary to amend their reliefs to include same. The Court granted the request and has asked the applicant to file the amendment within two days of the court order.

The parties to the suit will return to the Supreme Court on the 2nd of May 2017 for their memorandum of issues to be taken and hopefully set a new date for hearing.

From the last sitting

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, has, once again, adjourned Professor Kwaku Asare’s suit challenging the mode of admission into the Ghana Law School.

At today’s sitting, the General Legal Council revealed, to the apparent displeasure of the Court, that it had just filed an amended Statement of Defense, which was yet to be served on the parties, the day before.

While the Court expressed its displeasure at the delay by the GLC, it nevertheless accepted the amended Statement of Defense and ordered the parties to file a joint memorandum of issues and return on the 11th of April 2017 for further hearing on the case.

Background

On October 15, 2015, Prof Asare filed a suit against the GLC and set up four issues for the Court to determine:

1. Whether the General Legal Council’s imposition of new admission requirements for the professional course violates Articles 11(7), 297(d), 23, and 18(2) of the 1992 Constitution?

2. Whether Regulation 3(b) of LI 1296 is void-for-vagueness and is therefore facially unconstitutional and whether the General Legal Council unconstitutionally applied it to disqualify eligible students who had qualified for admission to pursue the Professional Law Course?

3. Whether the General Legal Council’s failure to specify alternative places and modes of instruction for all persons who meet the requirement in Regulation 2 of LI 1296, when taken in light of Section 13 of ACT 32, violates Articles 296(a)(b) and 297(b) of the 1992 Constitution?

4. Whether the General Legal Council’s policy on reviewing examination scripts and quota admissions violate Articles 23, 296(a)(b) and 18(2) of the 1992 Constitution?

While the Court’s rules required the AG and GLC to have responded by October 29, 2015, they responded on January 28, 2016 and April 14, 2016 respectively. In response to the delayed Statement of Defenses, Prof. Asare, pursuant to a leave granted by the Court, filed an amended statement of case on June 15, 2016. On 28th July 2016, the Court denied the plaintiff’s application to stop the GLC from holding the 2016 entrance examination.

Notwithstanding the denial of the injunction, the substantive case was not called till February 9, 2017, when the case was adjourned till today (March 14, 2017) when the GLC announced that it had filed an amended Statement of defense, 9 clear months after the Plaintiff’s amended statement of case.

It remains unclear why the Court allows the GLC so much room to delay the proceedings when its actions, if the plaintiff is correct, offends the Constitution and denies qualified students the opportunity to pursue their professional legal education.