The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has underscored the need for reforms in the legal education system in the country, ABC News can report.
The Committee noted with worry the recent mass failures of students either hoping to gain admission into the Ghana School of Law or law students hoping to be called to the bar, describing the situation as a national crisis.
The position of the Committee was contained in a press release issued by the leadership of the National Association of Law Students after a meeting between the two entities at the Parliament House.
According to the statement, “Members of the committee were largely of the view that the purported mass failure at the entrance exam this year is a national crisis which provides enough basis to do a holistic review of legal education in Ghana and pass legislation which comprehensively addresses all the problems with legal education in Ghana. Some members of the committee also submitted that professional legal education should be decentralized and the GLC reconstituted into an examining body for the bar exam.”
“Members of the Committee largely agreed with students on the need for visibility into the process which resulted in only 128 candidates passing the July 2019 entrance exam. Some members of the Committee argued that a review or remark of scripts is important because it will either confirm the position of the GLC or vindicate the students and such a process must be conducted in the shortest possible time. Members of the Committee largely agreed with the position of students that an independent body of examiners should do a thorough review or remark of all the scripts” the Association detailed in their release, ABC News can report.
The Association, among other things, is accusing the General Legal Council of violating some regulations and constitutional provisionals governing the conduct of the examination.
Contrary to the assertions by the General Legal Council that over 90% of the candidates failed because of poor preparations, poor quality of education at the faculties, deviation from the questions and bad English, among others, the Association is of the firm belief that the blame should be laid at the doorstep of the General Legal Council.
“That Students DID NOT FAIL the July 2019 entrance exam. The 93% failure rate is a reflection of the systemic problems with the conduct of examinations by the Independent Examinations Committee and the General Legal Council (ii) It is practically impossible for 93% of LL.B graduates who sat this exam to fail at something as basic as questions on sources of Ghana Law and the fundamental principles of Sale of goods contracts. (iii) The 50% pass mark is NOT cast in any law (The Legal Profession Act, 1960 (Act 32) and The Legal Profession (Professional and Post-call Law course) Regulations, 2018 (LI 2355) as submitted by the GLC” the statement stressed.
Below is the press release issued by the National Association of Law Students after their meeting with Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee