No Legal Profession Bill has been laid in Parliament – Attorney-General

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has indicated that his outfit has not presented a Legal Profession Bill to Parliament for consideration as is being circulated on social media.

He made this known while delivering a speech at an International Conference on the future of legal education in Ghana and Africa, organised by the University of Ghana School of Law, with support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Mr. Dame noted that the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice has not drafted a Legal Profession Bill this year.

“May I take this opportunity to disclose that I have not come up with any new Legal Profession Bill. In point of fact, there has not been any Legal Profession Bill drafted by the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice this year. No approval has been sought by me from cabinet for a Legal Profession Bill to be sent to Parliament and for that matter, no Legal Profession Bill has been submitted to Parliament.”

He added that, “even the most basic step we undertake as part of the process for drafting i.e. stakeholder engagement has not been performed for any Legal Profession Bill to be laid in Parliament.

According to Mr. Godfred Dame, instead of some individuals reaching out to his office to verify the said document that is being circulated on social media as the Legal Profession Bill, they decided to criticise his outfit on radio and TV stations.

“To my utter surprise, I saw a document being spread on social media as the Attorney-General’s Legal Profession Bill. With all restrained haste, various persons of high standing in society including professors and senior lawyers rushed to the media to make all manner of comments virtually casting aspersions at the integrity of the office of the Attorney-General for coming up with such a bill.

This they did without even sparing a split second to verify the accuracy of the information. Even though in truth and in fact, I was just a telephone call away for most of the commentators who were engaged in the commentary I am talking about,” he bemoaned.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General, despite holding the view that the system of professional legal education has undergone several reforms, admitted that the current system is bedeviled with severe challenges.

This he said is due to the recent proliferation of law faculties and schools running the Bachelor of law programme without a corresponding increase in facilities for the professional law course.

“There has not been the necessary legislative backing. Up to the 2006/7 academic year, only products of University of Ghana were accepted into the Ghana School of Law. The law faculty of the University of Ghana was the only one accredited to conduct a Bachelor of Law programme leading to admission into the professional law course.

The monopoly over the LLB programme was broken in 2003, with the establishment of a law faculty by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in August of the same year. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of law faculties around the country with the accreditation of 14 more in the public and private sector,” he stated.

He, therefore, said possible resolutions should seek to address the organization, scope and content of programmes in the various law faculties.

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