A planned demonstration by the National Law Students Association is gaining momentum as more organized groups are throwing their weight behind the protest.
Dubbed #OpenUpLegalEducation, the demonstration will see protesters march to the Jubilee House come Monday, October 7, 2019 to demand sweeping reforms in legal education in the country.
The demonstration is one of the reactions that greeted the perennial mass failure in the Law School entrance exams.
One of the organizers, Regina Amega in a Citi News interview said they still expect more people to join the campaign.
“All the faculties are on board including lawyers, judges and some members in the legal fraternity. We are calling upon the TUC, the GPRTU and all other stakeholders to come and join us…. It is happening on Monday 7th October,” she said.
The organizers have informed the police in accordance with law about their planned action.
Many more people are throwing their weight behind the protest on social media particularly after it became public that the most recent entrance exam recorded only a 7% pass rate.
Some have suggested that the mass failure is a deliberate attempt of the Ghana School of Law which is the sole institution where professional lawyers are trained in the country to limit the number of professional lawyers in the country.
Economic Fighters League to join law students association’s demo
Pressure Group, Economic Fighters League (EFL) has also backed the decision of the National Association of Law Students, to embark on a demonstration on 7th October, to push for reforms in Ghana’s Legal education system.
Ernesto Yeboah, Commander –in-Chief of the Economic Fighters League, tells Citi News the General Legal Council is operating an oppressive system, and thus called on all fighters to join the impending demonstration.
“We feel that it is unfortunate the way the General Legal Council has behaved over the years. As a matter of fact, we feel that it is part of the bigger picture of anti-youth system where the elder generation do everything in their power to exploit and oppress people unnecessarily and so our solidarity in this cause is to ensure that legal education is opened up to all who want to acquire knowledge and skill. We have called on all fighters to join the demonstration,” he said.
One of the major voices criticizing the current legal education regime is US-based Ghanaian legal practitioner, Professor Kwaku Asare, also known as Professor Azar.
He has called for the General Legal Council, which runs the Ghana School of Law and also administers the exams to be scrapped and replaced with an independent regulatory agency to regulate law education in Ghana.
He said the General Legal Council has departed from its duty of providing persons with law degrees the opportunity to pursue professional education to rather restricting them.
“Their core duty is to provide an opportunity for people with LLB to pursue their professional education but that is not what is happening here. They are not providing an opportunity; they are actually denying people the opportunity to pursue legal education, so as a matter of law, what they are doing is problematic,” he remarked in a Citi News interview.
His view is shared by the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini who is also a lawyer.
According to Inusah Fuseini, the Ghana School of Law must be stripped of the autonomy it currently has.
According to him, such a reform will address the annual record of mass failures in the school’s exams.
He said the School of Law must be allowed to operate as a regular law faculty that trains prospective lawyers and prepares them for the required professional exam which should be administered by the General Legal Council.