Prof. Kwaku Asare's take on Ghana School of Law's new requirements

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Few days ago, The Independent Examinations Committee of the General Legal Council made known it’s decision not to disclose the pass mark for this year’s entrance examination into the Ghana School of Law, and for candidates to sign an undertaking not to challenge the results.   

Critics such as lawyers, law students and some civil society organisations have criticized the decision, describing it as an impediment for the development of legal education.

Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare, who is US based Lawyer has also called on LLB holders to boycott the entrance examination. 

 Dr Randy Abbey engaged a group of panelists on his show on Wednesday morning to discuss this subject matter. He reached out to Professor Kwaku Asare via zoom, to get a better view of his take on the issue. In his comments, Professor Asare was unhappy about the fact that, people who are put in positions to make sure others do the right thing turns out to be violating the law themselves. He recalled that, there was a High Court ruling in 2021 which stated that, the failure to publish the results is arbitrary,unlawful,null and void, and it’s of no effect.

He is worried that, just a year after that ruling, the council that constitute respected personalities of the land and who are even supreme Court judges and should know better are going contrary to the law themselves. He seems to even have a problem with the monopolization of the professional law school. Prof doesn’t see the reason why Ghana law school cannot just allow it’s accredited institutions to be on their own. He condemned the Ghana law school for insisting that law students, upon completion of their various schools must take an entrance examination to pursue a professional course in their institution to enable them practice.

According to him, he doesn’t see how a Ghana law school who’s library he described as similar to a kiosk can consider itself a better law trainer than a whole university which is so much resourced and can impact more knowledge and provide a better education than the Ghana law school. He however blamed the reason of these ‘unfortunate decisions’ on the dominance of judges of the Supreme Court on the legal council. He thinks it is a barrier to fighting for the right thing because, when things have 'gone wrong' like what is currently happening and it is sent to court for redress, these same judges are the ones who will sit on the cases and they will always uphold their own decisions.

He is not sure what went into the composition of the council’s membership but he is of the view that, at the time of setting up the council, there was only one school offering law courses, a reason the law faculties have just one Dean on the council, and since they have only one representative on the council, his singular voice cannot fight for the faculties. He said in some jurisdictions, the council is composed of public members who advocates for the public instead of being biased. He reiterated that, the students must boycott the exams and it will yield something positive.

Dr Abbey who also seems perturbed about the situation said that what the judges are doing now are the same things people do and they the judges cites them for contempt, suggesting that, the judges themselves are engaging in acts of contempt. He further questioned why this same GLS accepts students who attends their law schools outside Ghana in any of the common wealth countries, without any entrance exams yet compels students in Ghana to write such exams.

 We shall follow this and see how it will end.

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