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The Ghana School of Law says any amendment of the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32 that will exclude the Chief Justice from the General Legal Council (GLC) will have dire consequences on Ghana’s legal education.
South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor and the Madina MP, Francis-Xavier Sosu, have indicated to Parliament to direct the Legislative drafting department to put together a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32.
The bill will, among other things, seek to amend Act 32, to exclude the Chief Justice as well as other Justices of the Supreme Court from the General Legal Council (GLC) and redefine its functions.
In responding to the MPs, the Director of Legal Education, Kwasi Prempeh, called for a close collaboration between Parliament and the General Legal Council to address some of these nuances.
He was speaking to journalists during a tour of the Ghana School of Law Complex near UPSA in Accra on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
“I think there should be more collaboration between Parliament and the General Legal Council. It is not just a question of just directing the GLC. You have to look at the resources that we have and all that before you can say, take these other people. The Chief Justice, not only is he in charge of the judiciary, he has played a crucial role in legal education.”
“So to just exclude and call for his replacement, you must consider the fact that the GLC has been in existence since 1960 or so when it was established. They have run the education for a very long time,” he suggested.
The two MPs have begun processes to table a Private Member’s Bill (PMB) before Parliament to redefine the functions of the General Legal Council.
The decision to table the motion was informed by calls for reforms to the nation’s legal education regime.
Mr. Dafeamekpor and Francis-Xavier in a Memo to the Clerk of Parliament requested the Legislative Drafting Office to draft for subsequent submission to the Speaker, a Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32, to exclude the Chief Justice as well as other Justices of the Supreme Court from the General Legal Council.
The two legislators also sought for the functions of the GLC to be redefined.
They want reforms in Legal Education such that accredited Faculties of Law with the requisite facilities will be licensed to run professional law courses, “provide for discipline of lawyers and related matters to give effect to Article 37(1) of the 1992 Constitution.”
This call is being made at a time some 499 candidates who were part of those who sat for the 2021 entrance examinations were failed after a new quota system was introduced by the General Legal Council after the examination.
Some of the affected candidates have since been agitating and calling for the General Legal Council to rescind its decision to include all 499 students who attained the 50 percent pass mark.