June 24, 2019

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Ken Kuranchie sues General Legal Council over mass exams failures

Ken Kuranchie sues General Legal Council over mass exams failures

The editor of the Daily Searchlight newspaper, Mr Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie has filed two lawsuits against the General Legal Council (GLC), the body in charge of legal education in Ghana, over recent mass failures at Ghana School of Law.

He filed the two suits at the Supreme Court, as well as the Human Rights Division of an Accra High Court.

The Attorney-General is the first respondent while the General Legal Council is second respondent.

Mr Kuranchie, who is one of the affected students, is seeking 26 reliefs from both courts, made up of 11 reliefs in the Supreme Court, and 15 reliefs in the Human Rights Division of the High Court.

The General Legal Council is in charge of the management of the Ghana School of Law.

According to the results, only 64 students, representing 12.1% of the 525 who sat for the examinations, passed and are eligible for six months of tutelage.

This number is far lower than the 91 students who passed the examination in 2017, which sparked rage in the country.

A total of 284 students, which constitutes 54% of those who took the professional law examinations last year, are to repeat the entire programme because they failed.

Another 177 students, representing 33.7%, were referred in various papers.


In the case before the Supreme Court, Mr Kuranchie is seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23 and 296 (a) and (b) and 107. (a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the October 2017 Intake to the Professional Law Course at the Ghana School of Law, Makola, under which he was admitted, was governed by the Professional Law Course Regulations, 1984 (L.I. 1296), and the Legal Profession Act, 1960, (Act 32).

Therefore all acts, commissions and omissions of the body known as the Independent Examinations Board relative to the October 2017 intake of the Ghana School of Law be declared null and void.

Again, he is seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23 and 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution, the Pass Grade employed by the General Legal Council and its offices, officers and assigns, namely the Board of Legal Education and the Ghana School of Law, with regard to the 2017 Intake to the Ghana School of Law, are unknown to L.I. 1296 and constitute a capricious exercise of discretion and therefore null and void.

Further, he is seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17 (2) and (3), 18 (1), 20 (1), 25 (1) (c), 23, and 296 (a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution, Regulations 9 (4) of LI 1296, and Regulation 14. (2) of the Legal Profession (Professional and Post-Call Law Course) Regulations, 2018, (L.I. 2355), both of which limit the number of times a student can resit an examination, are null and void.

Unconstitutional cancellation of examination grades

Mr Kuranchie further seeks a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 18 (1) and 20 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, examination grades and scores constitute vested property in the persons in whom they are declared, and therefore Regulation 9 (5) of L.I. 1296 and Regulation 14 (1) of L.I. 2355, both of which cancel examination grades that are legitimately earned, are unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

He wants a declaration on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 15 (1), 15 (2) (a) and 20 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, Regulation 9 (5) of L.I. 1296, and Regulation 14 (1) of L.I. 2355, both of which cancel examination grades and subject students to resitting courses they have passed, are unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

The Editor of the Daily Searchlight newspaper is again begging the Supreme Court to agree with him that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 15 (1), 15 (2), 17 and 25 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution, Regulation 1 of L.I. 2355, which provides for a quota system for admission to professional law course, is inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution and are therefore null and void.

Entrance exams inconsistent with 1992 Constitution

Mr Kuranchie is seeking that the Supreme Court agrees with him that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 15 (1), 15 (2)(a) and (b), 17, 25(1) (c), and 38 (1) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution, Regulation 4 of L.I. 2355 requiring all students holding LL.B certificates to write an entrance examination before qualifying for the Professional Law Course is inconsistent the 1992 Constitution and same should be struck down as null and void.


Independent Examination Council illegal

He is further seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23, 296 (a) and (b) and 107 (b) of the 1992 Constitution, parliament has no power to pass Regulations 12 (1) and 13 (1) of LI 2355, that creates a body called Independent Examination Council because the Board of Legal Education is by law responsible for Legal Education in Ghana.

Again, he is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 17 (1), (2) and (3), 20 (1) and 24  (1) of the 1992 Constitution, Sections 8 (1), (2), (5) and (6) and Sections 9  (1), and (2) of the Legal Profession Act, 1960, (Act 32), as amended by the Legal Profession (Amendment) Decree, 1972 (N.R.C.D 88) are inconsistent with the Constitution of Ghana, and are therefore null and void in so far as they prevent suitably qualified persons holding Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) certificates from practising as Solicitors using the self-same LL.B issued on the authority of the General Legal Council.

Mr Kuranchie begs the Supreme Court to agree with him that Sections 8 (1), (2), (5) and (6) and Sections 9(1), and (2) of the Legal Profession Act, 1960, (Act 32) as amended by the Legal Profession (Amendment) Decree, 1972 (N.R.C.D 88), constitutes an attack on the fundamental human rights of suitably qualified LL.B holders under Articles 17 and 24 (1) of the 1992 Constitution in that it prevents them from practising a trade for which they are suitably qualified.

LL.B Certificate holders be granted power to practice

The Editor of the Daily Searchlight newspaper wants the Supreme Court to declare that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 18 (1) of the 1992 Constitution an LL.B Certificate is the property of the holder, and he/she has the vested right to deploy it in the profession for which it is suited.

In the Human Rights Division of the High Court, Mr Kuranchie is seeking an order for the tape of a Moot Exercise conducted by an Officer of the General Legal Council on him to be submitted to the court and cancelled as abusive and unacademic, and the highest possible marks awarded to him.

According to him, the verbal abuse heaped on him during the Moot aspect of the Advocacy course by the officer of the General Legal Council constituted an abuse of his rights, and that the whole effect of that exercise be brought forward and quashed, with the full marks awarded to him.

He argued that his raw scores were withheld, an act which constitutes an abuse of his rights, in that it disabled him, making an educated decision on re-marking, and that the General Legal Council and its offices, officers and organisations should produce the raw scores forthwith.

The Editor of the Daily Searchlight newspaper is seeking a declaration before the High Court that even with his results such as declared, he passed his examinations handsomely, and the claim that he failed be brought forth and quashed.

He is seeking an order for his written examination in the courses of Conveyance, Advocacy and Alternative Dispute resolution (ADR) to be submitted to the custody of the court and marked independently, or in the alternative, the best results be awarded applicant.

GH₵3,000 re-marking fee unfair

Mr Kuranchie is seeking a declaration that the inordinately high fees of GH₵3,000 per course charged by officers of the General Legal Council as charges for re-marking of one script amounted to an abuse of his rights to fair and reasonable economic treatment, and same should be brought forth and quashed.

He is again seeking a declaration that the General Legal Council charging of the GH₵3,000 re-marking fee with no statutory basis constitutes an abuse of his human rights, and the same should be brought forth and quashed.

Further, he is seeking a declaration that the artificially high-level standard to ‘Pass’ students constitutes an abuse of his rights and same should be brought forth and quashed.

He is seeking a declaration that the current grading system of the General Legal Council is without statutory basis, is arbitrary, unconstitutional and amounts to a breach of his right as guaranteed under Article 33 of the 1992 Constitution, and same should be brought forth and quashed.

Mr Kuranchie is further seeking a declaration that the artificially high pass marks without any academic and professional justification constitute an abuse of his rights, and the same should be brought forth and quashed.

He is seeking a declaration that GLC setting the pass mark so high without a sound policy basis is an abuse of his rights, and same should be brought forth and quashed.

He also wants a declaration that requiring him to rewrite ten major law papers, when by GLC’s own admission he had passed five of the courses, amounts to torture, is cruel and degrading, likely to detract from his dignity and is an egregious abuse of his rights, and same should be brought forth and quashed.

Mr Kuranchie is seeking a declaration that requiring him to pay for resitting a course he has passed by the admission of GLC is an abuse of his rights to fair economic treatment, and same should be brought forth and quashed.

Again, he is seeking a declaration that allowing a body, the Independent Examination Board/Committee, declared as illegal by the Supreme Court of Ghana, to conduct examinations is an abuse of his rights, and same should be brought forth and quashed, and the highest marks awarded him and all those who have suffered by this wilful transgression of the laws of the land.

“That on the evidence, Applicant has satisfactorily passed all his courses according to every known and acceptable academic and collegial measure and should be so declared,” he said.

Post source : The Finder

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