Ability of 17 law faculties to run professional legal studies questioned

Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL) Mr Kwesi Prempeh-Eck, is wondering if the 17 law faculties in the country have what it takes to run professional legal courses. He is therefore urging the faculties to propose their quality assurance to the General Legal Council (GLC) for further consideration. Mr. Prempeh-Eck was addressing the 6th Jurists’ Confab 2019 organised by the Law Faculty of the University of Cape Coast(UCC) on the theme: Legal Education in Ghana and the Law Graduate; Challenges and Prospects. Various distinguished personalities in the legal fraternity met on the current state of legal education in Ghana. Supreme Court judge, His Lordship Justice Nene Amegatcher expressed concerns about what he called a missing link between the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and the GLC in authorising institutions to run law faculties. He cited the missing link as reason for examining GSL applicants from the various accredited faculties. “The NAB proceeded to accredit several institutions to run law faculties without the input, consultation or approval by the GLC” while Section 4 of the Legal Profession Act 1960 (Act 32) requires only persons holding a degree from a university approved by the GLC to be qualified for enrollment into the Bar in Ghana, he said. Justice Amegatcher iterated that the use of traditional legal education curriculum and lack of market to absorb LLB holders compound problems of the poor GSL applications – admissions ratio. He therefore recommended infrastructural expansion, identification and training of teachers among others at the GSL to stakeholders. Sharing a similar view, distinguished Water Law lawyer Mr Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang said “mass production of LLB graduates, due to the uncontrolled proliferation of law faculties is an indication of legal education in crises”. Court of Appeal judge Justice Sir Dennis Dominic Adjei however diverted from their line of thought emphasising a defense that the NAB does a rigorous scrutiny before awarding authorisation to institutions to offer LLB. He rather proposed that “some law faculties should be authorised by the GLC to provide the professional legal education which is recently provided exclusively by the GSL.” Sir Dennis, who also doubles as Law Faculty dean at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), further suggested “the GSL [then] coordinates exams by the faculties as presently done by the Independent Examination Committee”. It was based on this proposal the director of the Ghana  School of Law, Mr Kwesi Prempeh-Eck posed a question that erupted a resounding positive response from the audience, largely consisting of law students at UCC: Are the faculties of law prepared? He charged faculties to assess the efficiency of their infrastructure, staffing among others so they could make further proposals to run legal professional studies.

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By Spencer Kwabena Boateng Mensah|3News|Cape Coast]]>