Ghana: Long past the monopoly of Ghanaian law school

Since British settlers introduced a formal justice system and legal education to the country and Mr. John Mensah Sarbah became the first native of the then Gold Coast to be called to the bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1887, the he increase in the number of Ghanaians wanting to become lawyers has never wavered.

It is known that this was the time when lawyers in the country were trained abroad, mainly in the Inns of Courts in England.

The Ghana School of Law (GSL) was established by the Legal Practitioners Act 1958 enacted by Parliament to train lawyers locally under the watchful eyes of the General Legal Council previously established under the same Act. A Legal Education Council has also been established

In December 1958, the school was officially opened in temporary premises of the Supreme Court with 97 students selected from around 600 applicants and they moved into the current premises whose plaque was unveiled by Dr Kwame Nkrumah on March 5, 1959. .

Until recently, when other higher education institutions, both public and private, were allowed to offer the LLB course, which is now the main requirement of GSL, only the Law School of the University of Ghana offered it. .

This means that the number of LLB graduates currently produced is greater than what the GSL can absorb and therefore obviously needs to find a way to admit the best, as it has done since its inception.

It should be recalled that in October of this year, Parliament, by resolution, ordered the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the General Legal Council to admit the 499 students refused to Ghana Law School despite the passing mark of 50 percent in the entrance examination organized by the General Legal Council.

The students petitioned parliament and organized protests against their refusal, while some of them also sued the General Legal Council on the matter.

The legal profession has become very important in modern times due to its role in the administration of justice and employment opportunities, which has skyrocketed the desire for it to be even higher than anyone else. had never considered it.

This is why the government’s plan to introduce new legislation, the Legal Profession Bill, to regulate professional legal training in the country is laudable.

The legislation aims to provide for a multiplicity of law schools to train professional lawyers, although reporting to the General Legal Council, in order to break the monopoly of the GSL.

The bill would help create space to meet growing demand and public interest in the legal profession.

The government’s decision is a very good one as there are many other people capable of doing law, but at the moment the legal profession in the country is actually organized as “a guild, a small club made up mostly of men. which is difficult to penetrate. “

President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo touched on an important conversation that should in no way be dismissed as the current system creates a class society.

The GSL began in 1958 by giving admissions to all kinds of capable people, including teachers and civil servants, not just people from certain families.

This should be the case because with all the controls in place the country can produce good avocados and the type of quota system currently in place can prove to be unproductive and restrictive.

After all, having more lawyers in the country would demystify the legal profession first and foremost, when there can be diverse opinions in law that can help shape our legal system to suit our circumstances.

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