A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong, has rejected suggestions that successive and current students of the Ghana Law School could have their certificates annulled following a Supreme Court’s judgment stopping the school from using entrance exams and interview as procedures for enrolling new students.
According to him, the Supreme Court was clear in its judgment, saying if it covers past students a lot of lawyers who benefited from the process since its introduction in 2012, could be adversely affected.
His remark sharply contradicts a comment by a law lecturer at the Ghana Law School, Moses Foh Amoaning, who believed that the judgment could have serious implications for previous and current students of the school.
But Yaw Oppong while making a contribution on the issue on the Citi Breakfast Show said: “…The [Supreme] Court made it clear that it would have meant that such a large a number of lawyers who had benefited from this process from 2012 to now would have had their names struck out, and that is not how laws are to be implemented. So the court said that it will not affect those who have already been the product of this unconstitutional act.”
“There are some people who have already had the contract with the General Legal Council, they have made payments, they have filled in the appropriate forms which constitutes the basis of an agreement. So it will also be unfair to declare that the implementation of the decision should be forthwith, meaning from yesterday [Thursday], it is also going to adversely affect these students who have already had that contract with the General Legal Council,” he added on the Citi Breakfast Show on Friday.
The Supreme Court on Thursday [June 22, 2017] declared as unconstitutional the requirement by the General Legal Council asking applicants to the Ghana Law School to undertake an examination and subsequent interview before admission.
According to the court, the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296 which gives direction for the mode of admission. The Supreme Court made the judgment in a case brought before it by Professor Kwaku Asare, a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, in 2015.
Prof. Asare challenged the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law and argued that the number of people who were admitted into the school was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB from the various universities in the country. 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 students who graduates annually.