Ghana’s Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo says, the General Legal Council, GLC will continue to ensure that there is excellence in Professional Legal Education and the production of quality Lawyers that the country needs.
To this end the GLC and the National Accreditation Board will continue to set standards and monitor the 14 faculties of law duly accredited universities and Colleges to ensure that they follow laid down rules and procedures.
The Chief Justice was speaking at enrollment of new lawyers in Accra.
According to Chief Justice, the existing systems and structures for the training of lawyers in the country will not be changed despite public outcry.
She stressed that the current system that many deem as strict and unfair, is meant to ensure that lawyers who are trained in the country are of global standards.
“The General Legal Council (GLC) continues in its quest to assure the people of this great republic the excellence in professional legal education and production of quality lawyers that they so well and dearly deserve. The position of the General Legal Council (GLC) remains that admission to the Ghana School of Law for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum rank of 50% in an entrance exam administered by the Independent Examination Committee,” she said.
Sophia Akuffo while applauding the effectiveness of the current legal education regime revealed that plans have been put in place to ensure that a larger campus is constructed outside Accra.
She said the plan will be featured in the 2020 budget statement which is currently being prepared.
The Chief Justice was however, quick to add that despite the expansion of infrastructure and appointment of more academic staff, the GLC will continue to uphold its commitment to ensure quality in the education of professional lawyers
“However much space is increased, the GLC will never relent on its commitment to assurance of production of quality lawyers through observation of the highest standards,” she said.
Every year, more than 1000 students, most of whom are graduates from law faculties of various universities write entrance exams for an opportunity to study at the Ghana School of Law before becoming lawyers.
But the results of the entrance exam show mass failures with only 7% passing the 2019 exams.
Due to the high failure rates, many have called for serious reforms in the country’s legal education regime.
Among the suggests are for the space to be opened up and General Legal Council (GLC) stripped of the power to conduct entrance exams and the three Schools of Law it operates, to be made to function as law faculties that will competitively be training LLB students who can sit for general bar exam and qualified candidates duly called to the bar.
“We need to decouple the education and the regulation. Let them (General Legal Council) stay on a competition basis, train them (LLB students], and when the students have their degree, they apply to take a common bar exam administered by a qualified bar examiners and anyone who passes that becomes a lawyer,” a Ghanaiana legal practitioner, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Prof. Azar suggested.