Dr. Isidore Tufour of the GIMPA Law Faculty has suggested the introduction of paralegalism to absorb thousands of unsuccessful applicants to the Ghana School of Law who wish to have legal training and not necessarily be lawyers.
According to the Head of Department of Public Law of the GIMPA Law Faculty, most professionals and persons of other backgrounds wish to have the benefit of legal knowledge to enhance their work in their chosen fields and thus, paralegalism, if introduced, will provide such persons with the requisite knowledge needed without necessarily going through the frustrations of becoming a lawyer.
According to Dr. Isidore, this will reduce the demand for entry into the law school and, among other benefits, promote the work of lawyers in delivering legal services to the public.
Dr. Isidore added that this will make up for the low lawyer-to-citizen ratio of 30 million Ghanaians to 4882 practising lawyers.
Speaking at the Ghana Bar Conference ongoing in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, the lawyer and Criminal Law lecturer called for legislation for the recognition and legitimacy of paralegal practice in the Ghanaian legal industry.
This legislation, according to Dr. Isidore, should define thoroughly the scope of work of the lawyer and the paralegal to avoid clashes between the two sets of professionals.
He thus callsed for the accreditation, training, licensing and certification of paralegals, thereby creating a profession for paralegalism as existent in other jurisdictions.