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Dame’s comments on legal education expansion must not be mere rhetoric – Law School SRC

The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Law School says plans by government to expand access to legal education must not be mere rhetoric.

The Minister Designate for Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame said at his vetting on Friday, February 12, 2021, that there is a proposed amendment to the Legal Profession Act to enable accessibility to the course.

Responding to this in a Citi News interview, the Students Representative Council (SRC) President of the Ghana School of Law, Philemon Laar lauded the initiative.

He further urged the government to put words into action.

“There has to be a strategic plan as to how legal education should be in this country. After the outcry for reforms from students all over the country, we thought that things will change, but we saw nothing. But then, we welcome the news our learned ‘designate’ [Godfred Dame] put out on Friday and we hope that this will not be mere political rhetoric.”

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Legal Education Reforms

Due to the high failure rates, many have called for serious reforms in the country’s legal education regime.

Some have suggested that the General Legal Council (GLC) should be stripped of the power to conduct entrance exams and the three Schools of Law it operates, to be made to function as law faculties that will competitively be training LLB students who can sit for the general bar exam and qualify candidates duly called to the bar.

“We need to decouple education and regulation. Let them [General Legal Council] stay on a competition basis, train them [LLB students], and when the students have their degree, they apply to take a common bar exam administered by qualified bar examiners and anyone who passes that becomes a lawyer,” a Ghanaian legal practitioner, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Prof. Azar suggested.

But former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo opposed it.

She stressed that the current system that many deem as strict and unfair, is meant to ensure that lawyers who are trained in the country are of global standards.

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