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Attempt to stop Law School entrance exams fails

The Supreme Court has struck out an application for an injunction against the upcoming entrance examination for the Ghana School of law slated for July 27.

The seven-member panel comprising Justices Jones Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Baffo-Bonnie, Akoto Bamfo, Alfred Benin, Yaw Appau, Gabriel Pwamang arrived at this decision following an initial objection raised by lawyers for the General Legal Council.

U.S-based Ghanaian Prof, Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare in June this year dragged the General Legal Council(GLC) to the apex court alleging they are in contempt of court for failing to obey an earlier order by the court.

The Supreme Court in June 2017 ruled that the entrance examination and interviews organized as requirements for admission into the Ghana School of Law is unconstitutional.

The Court further ordered that the law backing whatever mode of admission they intend to rely on for the year 2018 must be in place within 6months.

Lawyers for Prof Asare maintained that failure to have this law passed by December 22, 2017, meant the only law governing the 2018 admission process remains the previous instrument which does not provide for either an entrance examination or Interview session.

His contention notwithstanding, the GLC only got Parliament to pass a Legislative Instrument on March 15, 2018, the instrument that provided basis for an entrance examination.

Given that the law was passed after the admission process had begun, the applicant contended that all qualified Law first degree holders must be admitted by the Ghana School of Law or alternate places of instruction be provided for them.

Lawyers for the General Legal Council on Wednesday raised a preliminary legal objection urging the court to dismiss the case. Lead Counsel Kizito Beyuo told the court the affidavit was defective as it suggested initially they were the words of Prof Kwaku Asare.

He argued, a further reading showed another person actually swore the affidavit on his behalf. He added that it was alien to Ghana’s legal system for another person to sign an affidavit for or on behalf of another person.

Lawyer Beyuo said the defects were not simply irregularities but rather an issue dealing with the substantive case. He said, “in our opinion, there is no affidavit backing this application due to the defects”.

The GLC lawyer conceded he was aware of a notice of power of Attorney filed at the court but maintained that could not hold.

“It would have been cured if the person who swore the affidavit had stated in the initial part of the affidavit that he was swearing it on someone’s behalf”.

Chief State Attorney Sylvester Williams associated himself with the submission made by the GLC Counsel.

He added that the Power of Attorney filed at the court was defective as it lacked the signature of a witness.

The lawyer for Prof. Asare, Kofi Bentil asked that the court allow them to rectify the defects.

He told the court it had on many occasions in the past allowed for such defects that do not affect the merit of a case.

Justice Appau, who is a member of the seven-member panel interjected that the mistake wasn’t simply one that could be remedied.

“This is neither an omission or mistake, its a lie,” he said.

Kofi Bentil then asked that the court allows the application to be withdrawn. Justice Dotse reading the decision of the panel struck out the application.

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