The Members of Parliament for South Dayi and Madina constituencies, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor and Francis-Xavier Sosu respectively, 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 (GLC).
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.”
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.
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.
Parliament had earlier directed the General Legal Council to admit the students who, despite making the 50 percent pass mark, were denied admission.
This was however shot down by the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on grounds that Parliament does not have the power to direct the GLC on processes for admission into the law school just by a resolution.
Ordinarily, admission to the Ghana School of Law for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum rank of 50 percent during an entrance exam organised by the General Legal Council.
The students had petitioned Parliament and staged protests over their denial.
But following the resolution by Parliament, many have questioned if the intervention does not amount to interference.
Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin rebuffed suggestions that the house is meddling in the work of the judiciary.
He insisted Parliament as a body with oversight responsibility cannot sit aloof and watch for the students to be treated unfairly.
Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin maintained that they will do everything possible to ensure that the students are admitted.