The University Students’ Association of Ghana (USAG) says it is puzzled by the mass failure of law graduates, and called for an independent committee to investigate the results of the professional law entrance examination.
One thousand, six-hundred and ninety-two law graduates from various law faculties in the country who wrote the Ghana School of Law entrance examination this year, failed to make the cut to enable them undertake the professional law course.
Only 128 graduates of the total 1, 820 who sat for the exams passed, sparking agitation among the hundreds of law graduates and students across the country whose fate hang in the balance due to what they termed, a deliberate attempt to deprive of the professional course.
“We are stupefied that only 128 out of a total of 1,820 candidates passed the entrance examination of the Ghana School of Law,” USAG said in a statement Friday.
The Association said it was “unfortunate”, that the mass failure appears to have become systematic over the years.
For USAG, it was important that pragmatic steps are taken to streamline the enrollment and management of legal education in the country, with the view to ensuring that qualified Ghanaians enjoy their right to access education across all levels.
“We also implore the Government of Ghana to support the Ghana School of Law to expand facilities so as to be able to accommodate the numbers that seek to acquire professional legal education in the country,” the statement said.
Students of the Ghana School of Law and their peers from the various law faculties in the country announced Thursday they will on October 7 stage a demonstration in Accra to push authorities to open up Ghana’s legal education, which many are struggling to easily access.
They said the “SRC is working on a petition to outline our demands” which they intend to president, Nana Akufo-Addo demonstration.
Also, the SRC said it has teamed up with the immediate Past Presidents of law students’ associations of some law faculties and other student leaders to form the National Association of Law Students.
USAG said it “wholeheartedly endorses and supports” the call by the National Association of Law Students to demonstrate October 7 under the slogan #OpenUpLegalEducation.
“We therefore encourage all students and stakeholders of legal education in Ghana to support the call supra,” USAG urged.
The difficulty in getting admission into the Ghana School of Law for the professional course to become a lawyer has recently provoked debate on the restrictive nature of legal education in Ghana.
While some critics have blamed the situation on low quality of law graduates from the various law faculties, some have held the consistent mass failure is a ploy by persons in charge to frustrate and restrict mass production of lawyers.
No way for mass production of lawyers – CJ
Recent comments by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, which seemingly suggested a deliberate attempt to limit the production of lawyers in the country, was criticised by some critics.
Addressing the Bench, Bar and Faculty Conference at the Labadi Beach Hotel on the theme “The Changing Landscape in the Law – the Judge, the Lawyer and the Academic”, the Chief Justice said any attempt to allow the production of lawyers without efficient control, checks and balances will be rejected irrespective of who is advocating for it.
“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 have 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”, she said.
“Those of you lawyers and those of you lecturers who are busy advocating free scale, mass admissions into the professional law course, and mass production of lawyers, be careful what you wish for”, she added.