Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, has observed that the Ghana Legal Council has “acted very dumb” with respect to the mass failure that has hit Ghana School of Law (GSL) entrance exams for years.
His remark comes on the back of Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo’s reiteration of her position on law school admission requirements despite calls for a drastic revision.
Sophia Akuffo, while speaking at the passing out ceremony of 305 new lawyers, said that existing systems and structures for the training of lawyers in the country will not be changed despite public outcry.
“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.
But Manasseh Azure has argued that the Chief Justice’s position is retrogressive.
“The fight against injustice at the Ghana School of Law and legal education in Ghana must not stop. We should not leave the fate of our legal education in the hands any Chief Justice whose thinking appears retrogressive and whose position on the matter is neither supported by common sense nor grounded in research,” his Facebook post read.
GLC had its share of the backlash as Manasseh stated that, “Law is not rocket science. And the law students are not dumb. If there is any body or group that has acted very dumb in this matter, it is the General Legal Council, and not the law students”.
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.
They have suggested, among other things, for the space to be opened up and 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.
Meanwhile, a Ranking Member of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Alhaji Innusah Fuseini, has blamed GLC and administrators of GSL for the huge failures recording in the 2018 law exams.
Speaking on Adom FM, the legislator said GLC and GSL have done little beyond putting up some infrastructure for the school.
“Since its establishment in 1963, the GLS was not admitting more than 80 students and I don’t understand why the infrastructure that was built for sixty to eighty students are being used for eight hundred students presently,” he quizzed.
“I have said repeatedly that the way to solve Ghana Law School problem is to adapt the model of WAEC or any of the professional institutions, allow for institutions to teach the professional courses so that the GSL will become a regulatory body and set the questions for students to write the examination irrespective of your location without necessarily coming to Accra,” he added.