Our legal education needs complete overhaul – Nene Amegatcher

The troubles of legal education in Ghana begun when the National Accreditation Board (NAB) started accrediting private institutions to run law programmes without adequate due diligence, a nominee to the Supreme Court, Nene Amegatcher, has said.


This was because at the time the NAB started accrediting the private institutions, there was no research to ascertain the capacity of the country to absorb the numbers, he said.


Nene Amegatcher, a former president of the Ghana Bar Association told Parliaments Appointments Committee in Accra last Friday, in a response to a question as to what his view was on legal training in the country.


In his view, the NAB must take a critical look at the situation and only accredit institutions who could train students worthy of entering the Ghana School of Law.


If the influx was not checked, he said that in the long run, “the Ghana School of Law will be turned into an examination body where students just come to write exams.”


According to Nene Amegatcher, the Ghana School of Law lacked the facilities to absorb the numbers, wondering what considerations the NAB factored into reasons to allow the private institutions to run law programmes.


“If you look at facilities at the Ghana School of Law, they were built by the first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, as far back as 1958.


“Since then not even a single office space has been added to the facility apart from three forty-foot containers which are being used as offices. So we have this problem right from the word go,” he noted.


He said apart from the infrastructural challenges of the Ghana School of Law, it also has other problems, pointing out that “the Law School has not trained lecturers who would lecture all these number of people who are seeking to enter into the law school.”


To paint a vivid picture of the situation, Nene Amegatcher said that as lecturer, he had 250 in an advocacy class, a practical class where “I am supposed to take the students through examination in chief, cross examinations etc, so imagine how I am going to manage within the period at my disposal. Impossible!”


Another worrying issue, he said, was that, “even though we have rules in the Legal Profession Act which says that before you are handed your licence to practice, you must have done your Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) in an established law firm, but that is being flouted.”


With these, he said legal education was in crisis and needed a complete overhaul.


Nene Amagatcher’s observation followed a proposal by a fellow nominee, Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, that all institutions offering legal education in the country should be disaccredited.


Prof. Kotey said it was important that was done, before the institutions drove the legal profession into a ditch, adding that legal education in the country was at the “crossroads.”




CAPTION: Nene Amagatcher


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