A Justice of Ghana’s Supreme Court, Justice Jones Dotse, has posited that legal education in Ghana is fraught with many challenges.
He was speaking on behalf of Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah at an International Conference on the Future of Legal Education in Ghana/Africa, today, Monday, November 29, 2021.
Justice Dotse asserted that Ghana’s current legal system was not the best.
He has therefore called for an overhaul of the system.
“The current state of legal education in the country is not the best. The Ghana School of Law lacks capacity relative to the numbers it receives. The school is running multiple streams at the moment since all the students cannot be in one stream.”
“There is a general opinion shared by stakeholders that there is the need for expansion. Also, Legal education in Ghana lacks a clear policy direction. There is always contention with entrance exams. The structure of the governing body for legal education may require some revision,” he added.
At the same ceremony, President Akufo-Addo stated that “Sustainable legal education will have, as its base, the establishment of a regime that will consider the pressing needs of the growing law student population and the expected demands of the generation unborn that will study law. It will be qualitative in its operation, but with a fair and balanced quantitative selection system”.
He also stressed that “it must also streamline the regulatory dualism between the
Ghana Tertiary Education Commission and the General Legal Council when it comes to legal education. I have to restate my conviction that the General Legal Council must have the final say. “
He indicated that he has already asked the Attorney-General to fast-track the balance of consultations on the Legal Profession Bill, and lay it before Cabinet and, ultimately, Parliament as soon as possible for enactment.
“This Bill aims to address comprehensively the issues of legal education in Ghana today. It must dispel the notion that the legal profession is a guild, a small club of mostly men, which is difficult to penetrate”, he said.
President Akufo-Addo, nonetheless, indicated that even if the new Legal Profession Act, which is under consideration, provides for a multiplicity of law schools to regulate the teaching of the professional examinations, and break the monopoly of the General Legal Council in that regard, “there can be no substitute for the General Legal Council being responsible for the maintenance of standards in the new system”.
He was hopeful, though, that new Legal Profession Act and the various Regulations, that will result from it, “will bring the many issues surrounding legal education in Ghana to fruitful resolution once and for all, at least for this generation”.