Conduct exams for admission of law students -Supreme Court orders

Mr Benson Nutsukpui, GBA President

Mr Benson Nutsukpui, GBA President

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday gave the greenlight to the General Legal Council (GLC) to go ahead and conduct examination for admission of Bachelor of Law students (LLB) into the Ghana School of Law.

A five-member panel of judges presided over by Justice Julius Ansah refused an application for interlocutory injunction filed by renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Stephen Kweku Asare.

The plaintiff wanted to stop the entrance into the law school examination which comes off today but the judges disagreed with his argument on grounds that halting the examination would cause irreparable damage to the GLC.

Justice Annin Yeboah who read the judgement said the court took into consideration the balance of convenience, noting that plaintiff filed the application on July 19 when the students had prepared to take the examination.

Again, the apex court said the argument by counsel for plaintiff, Mr. Kofi Bentil that Legislative Instrument (LI) 2355 which regulates the conduct of examination is unconstitutional is misconceived and that the new law repeals LI 1296.

Before ruling on the case, both Mr. Kwame Kizito and Sylvester Williams who represented the GLC and the Attorney General urged the court to dismiss the application.

They held that not all persons holding LLB should gain admission into the school of law, stating that quality and standards must not be compromised.

Mr. Williams averred that plaintiff’s application was not challenging the constitutionality and validity of the new law and said there would be total chaos if the court grants the application.

But Mr. Bentil said the SC has ruled that Act 32 which is the proper statute does not know examination.

“We say that the LI is unconstitutional because the statue does not know examination so if you pass an LI that introduces examination that LI is unconstitutional.”

“We are going to move to the next step of bringing before the SC the position that the new LI 2355 is unconstitutional because it does not conform with Act 32.”

In an earlier judgement, Mr. Bentil argued that the SC told the GLC to amend the parent law which has not been done yet.

In October 2015, Professor Asare initiated a legal action challenging the legality of the criteria for admission used by the GSL.

He argued that entrance examinations and interviews were requirements for admission. On June 23, 2017, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court upheld his suit and declared the two requirements as unconstitutional.

The court, therefore, ordered the GLC to review the process of admission into the GSL within six months.

Due to the court’s order, Parliament in March, 2018, passed a new legislative instrument (LI) governing admission into the GSL.

The new LI scrapped the interview aspect of the admission requirement but maintained the entrance examinations.

Professor Asare then filed a new application in June 2018, with the case that the GLC failed to review the admission process within the stipulated six months period as ordered by the Supreme Court.

According to him, the deadline to review the admission process was December 22, 2017, and therefore GLC by failing to meet the deadline is in contempt of the court.

He argued that in effect due to the GLC’s failure to meet the deadline, the old law that governed admission into the GSL, LI 1296, which was declared unconstitutional was still in force.

He, therefore, among other reliefs wanted an order directing the GLC to admit all qualified LLB degree holders before the passage of the new LI governing the admission process.


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