C’ttee Wants Law School Interviews Scrapped; Backs Entrance Exams
The Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament will recommend that the House approves the provision that allows the Ghana Legal Council to conduct interviews for entrants into the Ghana School of Law.
The Committee has, however, rejected proposals for the scrapping of the entrance examinations for admission into the school.
This follows an agreement between the GLC and the Committee over the proposed Legal Profession Regulations 2017.
The proposed regulations, among other things, controversially stated that the General Legal Council would conduct an entrance exam as well as interviews for aspiring Ghana School of Law students.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mahama Ayariga told Citi News that this was done to enable the Ghana School of Law process admissions for 2018.
After meeting the Attorney General’s department and the General Legal Council, Mahama Ayariga said it was agreed that there would be an amendment of Legal Professions Act 32.
“The Deputy Minister actually showed us a Cabinet communique that approved a substantive Bill that will be brought to Parliament amending the parent legislation, which is Act 32. That then provides us with the platform to discuss the broader reforms of legal education in the country.”
“So based on that, the members of the committee were then satisfied that in the immediate term, we need to give them the approval to conduct the examinations… the committee thinks that the parent Act 32 makes provision for preliminary, intermediate and final examinations so the power to conduct examination is in the parent Act (32),” he explained.
Mr. Ayariga also said the Committee had lined up a number of far-reaching Bills to reform law education in the country beyond the scope of the current L.I hence the decision.
These included a Bill on the establishment of law schools and a Bill amending the legal professions act, Act 32.
“Those two Bills, when they come, will address the wider concerns of the public and the law school but immediately, we need to enable the law school to be able to process for admission for 2018 and the Supreme Court says that they must have an amendment enabling them to conduct an examination and that is what he have unanimously agreed to,”he added.
Opposition to proposals
The Association of Law Students had petitioned the Parliament to annul the Legislative Instrument because it argued that it was not in the best interest of legal education in the country.
The law students maintained that if the regulation was passed in its current form, it would restrict access to legal education.
The Association also petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to cause the withdrawal of the controversial Legal Profession Regulations 2017 from Parliament.
Some MPs, including the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, notably called for the withdrawal of the Legal Profession Regulations citing, among other things, the breach of due process.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo also noted some of these holes and advised Parliament to withdraw the controversial Legal Profession Regulations and take steps to re-lay it in the House.
She noted that the regulation was not gazetted on time, hence the advice.
The LI was drawn up and laid in Parliament on December 22, 2017, in response to the Supreme Court order directing a parliamentary approved admission process into the Ghana School of Law and calls to the Bar.