The Accra High Court, Commercial Division (Court Six) will, on Tuesday, 24 July 2019, at exactly 8 a.m., hear, for the second time, an application for prohibition by way of judicial review, seeking that an advertisement announcing the conduct of the next Professional Law Course Entrance Examination, be withdrawn.
The advertisement was issued under the auspices of a body called the Independent Examination Committee (IEC) of the General Legal Council (GLC).
The application, titled GJ1547/2019, is at the instance of Mr Kenneth Kwabena Agyei Kuranchie, who describes himself as a citizen of Ghana.
The respondent is the General Legal Council, the body charged with conducting legal education in Ghana.
It would be recalled that on 10 June 2019, the Coalition for the Reformation of Legal Education in Ghana issued a press statement asking that the advertisement, issued on 4 June 2019, be withdrawn.
In that letter, the group stated: “To conclude, we are by this letter serving notice on the General Legal Council, and notice is hereby served, that if it fails to publicly withdraw the advertisement placed on page 30 of the Daily Graphic of June 4, 2019, we would initiate all legal actions allowed by the 1992 Constitution to ensure that they listen to the voice of reason.”
Copies of the letter were subsequently served on the General Legal Council and several interest groups.
Mr Kuranchie is the Convenor of the Coalition for the Reformation of Legal Education in Ghana.
The gravamen of the application before the High Court is that by the publication of the advertisement on page 30 of the Daily Graphic of 30 June 2019, the General Legal Council is seeking to prejudice the outcome of another application before the Supreme Court of Ghana seeking a declaration that the Independent Examination Committee was an unconstitutional.
The Applicant in the Supreme Court is also seeking another declaration, among other pleas, that the Law School Entrance Examination is unconstitutional in that it sins against Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution in that it prevents suitably qualified candidates holding Bachelor of Law Certificates (LL.Bs) from going ahead to undergo professional legal education.
The application in the Supreme Court has the General Legal Council as Defendant.
Again, in the application before the High Court, the applicant is saying that by the publication dated 4 June, the IEC and the General Legal Council have announced that they intend to conduct themselves in a manner in excess of powers granted them under the Professional Law Course Regulations, that is L.I. 2355, by announcing that prospective professional law students should seek police clearance certificates on their character.
Thirdly, the applicant is saying that the advertisement evinced an intention to oust (that is remove) the power of the courts of Ghana to oversee their actions should they fall foul of the law, and this ouster clause is unlawful.