The Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice says the directive from Parliament ordering the General Legal Council (GLC) to admit the 499 students to the Ghana School of Law is unlawful.
According to the Office, Parliament cannot direct the GLC on processes for admission into the law school just by a resolution.
“Whilst recognizing the general legislative powers of Parliament in Ghana, except as has been circumscribed by the Constitution, I am constrained to advise that Parliament is devoid of power through the use of Parliamentary resolutions, to control the process of admission into the Ghana School of Law”, a statement from the AG’s office mentioned.
It added that, in my respectful opinion, this provision underscores the capacity of the Executive, not the Legislature, through the Minister responsible for the General Legal Council, i.e. the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, to direct and advise the Council on major matters of national importance.”
Parliament had directed the General Legal Council to admit the students who, despite making the 50 percent pass mark, were denied admission.
The directive was given after Parliament debated and passed a resolution directed at the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the General Legal Council to the effect that the students should be admitted.
But the Minister of Justice is of the view that the issue at hand requires Executive and not parliamentary intervention in accordance with section 1(5) of Act 32 which stipulates that, “the Council shall in the performance of their functions comply with any general directions given by the Minister”.
“In my respectful opinion, this provision underscores the capacity of the Executive, not the Legislature, through the Minister responsible for the General Legal Council, i.e. the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, to direct and advise the Council on major matters of national importance”, the statement further explained.
The 499 LLB graduates were denied entry because they failed to obtain at least 50 percent in both sections of the entrance exam, despite making the pass mark.
These students were only informed of this particular directive after the exam.
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.