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No mass admission into law school – CJ

The General Legal Council (GLC) will never relent on its commitment to ensure the production of quality lawyers through the observation of highest standards, the Chief Justice, Miss Sophia Akuffo has said.

“The position of the GLC remains that admission to the Ghana School of Law (GSL) for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum mark of 50 per cent in an entrance examination administered by the Independent Examination Committee,” she stated.

Speaking at the induction of some 305 fresh lawyers into the Bar in Accra on Friday, the Chief Justice said the inductees attained the feat not because of exclusiveness but because “you are here by merit.”

The Council has come up for criticism following the mass failures of prospective law students who sat for the 2019 entrance examinations to pursue the professional law programme at the Ghana School of Law.  

In this year’s entrance examinations for instance, only 128 students, representing seven per cent, out of a total of 1,820 applicants, passed the exams to be enrolled as professional law students.

Despite the plans to expand facility, which has been cited in the past as a contributing factor why many students do not get admission, the Chief Justice stressed that the GLC would not relent on the existing protocols.

 “The GLC continues in its quest to assure the people of this great Republic, we want to assure them excellence in professional legal education and production of quality lawyers that they so well and dearly deserve,” she explained.

Justice Akuffo announced that plans were far advanced for the commencement of the construction of a bigger campus for the GLS.

This, however, she said, would not automatically translate into mass admissions into the school because all admissions would be based on merit.

“Plans have been made for the (construction) of new and other campuses away from the hustle and bustle of central Accra for which land was acquired some years ago. The plan for the execution of this project is expected to be captured in the 2020 budget.

“By this competitive strict standard, the GLS has over the years increased its intake and maintains two other campuses in addition to the main campus in Central Accra, to accommodate the growing interest in legal education,” the Chief Justice explained.

According to her, the National Accreditation Board and the GLC were assessing law faculties across the country to ensure that standards, based on which they were accredited, were maintained.  

She charged the inductees to “uphold the integrity of the noble law profession” entreating them to safeguard the tenets of truth, honour, freedom and courtesy.

The current state of the legal profession, she said, was not in the best of shape because of the unprofessional conduct of some practitioners.

Some of the complaints filed at the GLC, which she chairs, against the deviant practitioners, she said; include lack of professionalism, disloyalty, and the penchant to get rich quick.

Quoting the Holy Bible, the Chief Justice said “the love of money is the root of all evil. You must also know that good name is better than riches.

“As you go, you must take the ethics of the profession seriously” and meet the demands of “your” communities by providing quality legal service.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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