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Students threaten court action over law school admissions L.I

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A group calling itself the Concerned Law Students, have threatened to seek redress at the Supreme Court if Parliament fails to withdraw the controversial Legal Profession Regulation.

The Regulation, which will determine qualifications procedure into the Ghana School of Law as well as call to the Ghana Bar, has been met with fierce resistance from the law students and the Coalition for the Reform of Legal Education.

Both groups say the Regulation will constrict legal education in the country.

The Concerned Law Students say they are expecting a positive outcome from their meeting with Parliament’s joint Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs held about a week ago.

Convener for the group, Ken Addor Donkor, however told Citi News that they will head to the Supreme Court if Parliament fails them.

“In fact, we are not anticipating any failure by the Committee, but when the unexpected happens, what we will do is that we will get any Member of Parliament to bring a motion against the L.I, and then we will be getting two thirds majority to vote the LI out of Parliament. If that fails, we will head to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of Section 13 of Act 32. “

The resistance

Some legal practitioners have also registered their displeasure about the Legal Profession Regulations 2017 .

The proposed LI among other things, states that the General Legal Council will conduct an entrance exam for the admission of students to the school, and conduct interviews for all applicants who pass the Ghana School of Law Entrance Examination.

The General Legal Council laid the Regulations in Parliament in mid-December 2017, in response to a Supreme Court order for a clear admission procedure into the Ghana School of Law, and call to the Ghana Bar.

Protest from students

The Concerned Law Students had earlier submitted a petition to Parliament against the new LI, describing it as a deliberate attempt by the GLC to frustrate them, something they considered a violation of their rights.

Ken Addor Donkor, the leader of the group, said the proposed LI was an attempt to kill the dreams of law students.
Exams, interviews barred for Law School

Supreme Court ruling

When the Supreme Court declared the interviews unconstitutional, it said the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission.

The Justices in delivering their judgment, also indicated that their order should not take retrospective effect, but should be implemented in six months, when admissions for the 2018 academic year begin.

The plaintiff, Professor Kwaku Asare, a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law.

According to him, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB.

The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees.

The current training regime limits the intake into the Ghana Law School to under 500 of the about-2000 LLB graduates annually.

In his suit, Professor Kwaku Asare prayed for a declaration that GLC’s imposition of entrance examination and interview requirements for the Professional Law Course violates Articles ll (7) 297 (d) 23, 296 (a) (b) and 18 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.

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