I won’t allow mass production of lawyers – Chief Justice

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Justice Sophia Akuffo, Chief Justice

The Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, has cautioned the General Legal Council to be wary of the mass number of students admitted into the Ghana School of Law.

According to her, the rate of misconduct recorded over the period has been a series of unfortunate situations.

In recent times, there have been agitations at the Ghana School of Law over the mass failure of students in the Bar Examination.

Students have largely blamed the system for these failures claiming it was as part of a deliberate plan to admit fewer numbers.

Several efforts and discussions are underway including lawsuits demanding a reformation of the country’s legal education system.

But speaking at the Bench, Bar and Faculty Conference on the theme “The Changing Landscape in the Law – The Judge, the lawyer and the Academic”, the Chief Justice said the calibre of lawyers the country needs are those of high standard and integrity.

“Those of you lawyers and those of your lecturers who are busy advocating free scale, mass admissions into the professional law course, and mass production of lawyers, to be careful what you wish for. So long as I have anything to do with it, it won’t happen. Just like you can’t mass produce doctors and surgeons, Ghanaians must not have mass-produced lawyers imposed on them,” the Chief Justice said.

“Those of us who have been too long on the General Legal Council, those of us who spent too long on the disciplinary committee, we’ve cause to worry because the kinds of misconduct are such that there is no way anybody envisaged these categories of misconduct when the Legal Profession Act was being enacted in the 1960s”, Mrs. Akuffo added.

The law school admission tussle

The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees.

The current training regime limits the intake into the Ghana Law School to under 500 of the about-2000 LLB graduates annually.

Recently, a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, Professor Kwaku Asare, resuscitated his dispute with the General Legal Council.

Professor Kwaku Asare, went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law.

According to him, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB.

When the Supreme Court declared the interviews unconstitutional, it said the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission.

It would be recalled that Parliament passed LI 2235 in March 2018 that got rid of the interviews while retaining the entrance examination for admissions to the Ghana Law School.

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Source: Citinewsroom

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