UG chancellor calls for review of ‘archaic’ legal education system

Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mary Chinery-Hesse, has added her voice to the growing calls for the country’s legal education system to be reviewed.

Addressing the university’s School of Law graduates at a ceremony, Madam Chinery-Hesse stated that the time was ripe for the Legal Professions Act (Act 32) to be urgently reviewed after sixty-two years of its usage.

She posited that the review needs to be done to get an Act that responds to the demands of the ever-changing world.

“The world we live in has changed exponentially since the Legal Professions Act was passed 62 years ago and there is an urgent need for its revision to reflect these changes and make the training of lawyers in Ghana more relevant and in tune with the world we live in today.

“I would like to reiterate the need to balance the training of the large number of lawyers that are needed in the country with the quality of education offered, as well as the provision of human and material resources of the institutions that train our lawyers,” Mary Chinery-Hesse is quoted by as saying.

It will be recalled that Bolgatanga East MP, Dominic Ayine, Okaikoi Central MP, Patrick Yaw Boamah, and Asawase MP, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak filed a private members bill in a bid to have legal education reformed.

The memo filed by the MPs indicates that it was intended to address the “current legal and regulatory framework by providing for critical aspects of legal education that remain either partially regulated or wholly regulated.”

The MPs want a Council for Legal Education and Training to be established to cater for legal education in the country.

“The Council shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, in its corporate name, be capable of suing and be sued, acquiring and disposing of property and performing any other acts that a body corporate can perform under the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) in furtherance of its purpose,” a portion of the proposed bill said.

Attorney General Godfred Dame in November last year proposed amendments to the Legal Professions Act in a new draft bill.

The move was to provide a framework for the licensing of universities to run Bachelor of Laws programmes.

Legal Education reform proponents such as Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare (alias Kwaku Azar) have been calling for this year’s law school entrance exams to be boycotted over the nondisclosure of PassMark and an undertaken which enjoins applicants to accept any result by the General Legal Council without opportunity for remarking.

The Ghana Law School entrance exams has had a long history of recording mass failures.

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