General News of Thursday, 15 February 2018


We may not admit students into Law School this year – General Legal Council

Students who have intentions of furthering their education at the Ghana Law School may not be able to achieve their desire as the General Legal Council is yet to address the law school’s admission challenges.

The Council intimated that their inability to put in place proper admission system and procedures in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling would make it impossible for any student to be admitted 2018/2019 academic year.

To this effect, the Council is in the process of drafting a new LI that will regulate the admission of students into the law school.

This was revealed by a member of the General Legal Council, Professor Kofi Quashigah, during a Joint Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Subsidiary Legislation meeting to consider a petition from the Association of Law Students of Ghana.

The petition bothers on the Legal Profession (Professional and Post-Call Law Course) Regulations, 2017.

Mr Quashigah explained to members of the Committee, petitioners, reps from the Attorney General’s Department that the General Legal Council has been “asked by the Supreme Court to ensure that we do not admit students under the old system in this for 2018. In other words, we have to put something in place, a proper mechanism, and this proposed LI is intended to achieve just that. … if we are not able to go through this, it may mean that we may not be able to admit in 2018 until we complete this exercise because we cannot admit under the old system, that it why we are pushing for the completion of this exercise so that we can admit for 2018.“

The Supreme Court declared that the interviews conducted as admission requirement into the Law School was unconstitutional and are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission.

The Justices in delivering their judgment, also indicated that their order should not take retrospective effect, but should be implemented in six months, when admissions for the 2018 academic year begin.

The General Legal Council laid the Regulations before Parliament in mid-December 2017, in response to the Supreme Court order for a clear admission procedure into the Ghana School of Law, and call to the Ghana Bar but the LI had to be withdrawn from the floor on technical grounds according to co-Chairman of the Committee, Mahama Ayariga

The Bawku Central MP in giving an insight into the work done on the proposed LI clarified that the failure to adhere to the Supreme Court’s order of a new LI six months after the judgement was due to Parliament’s internal processes that ought to be followed.

“The message out there that the General Legal Council is in violation of the Supreme Court decision because they have failed to pass the LI within the time stipulated by the Supreme Court. It is not accurate. The GLC doesn’t pass Lis. LIs are passed by the Parliament of Ghana. What they can do is to propose Lis and parliament at its own speed will work on the Lis and then pass the Lis at their convenient,” he remarked.

The plaintiff, Professor Kwaku Asare, a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law.

According to him, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB.

The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees.