General Legal Council constitutes committee to investigate School of Law mass exam failures
The General Legal Council (GLC) has set up a committee to look into the recent mass failures recorded in the Ghana School of Law examinations.
The Committee is also expected to make recommendations for addressing the challenges.
A statement issued by the Council said it is committed to ensuring “the integrity of the Bar examination process and outcomes” and therefore requests that anyone with relevant information to assist the Committee should submit it through the Judicial Secretary.
The General Legal Council’s statement named Justice Sophia Adinyira, Justice of the Supreme Court as the Chairperson of its committee tasked to look at the matter.
Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo in March 2019 hinted of the formation of a committee to look into the matter.
Gloria Akuffo described the mass bar exams failures as “a matter of great concern” and said, “when the matter came for consideration at the General Legal Council, the General Legal Council decided that a committee will be set up to find out the real causes.”
It is unclear if the committee she referred to is the same as what has been formally announced by the General Legal Council.
Many have expressed concern over the alarming rate of failure of students in the Bar exams.
Students of the Ghana School of Law earlier this year petitioned Parliament and met the committee for Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs over the same matter.
They called for a thorough review of the legal education system of the country.
Only 9 percent of the students are said to have passed the 2018 bar exam.
This was worse than the 2017 results which had more than 80% of students fail, as only 91 out of the over 500 candidates passed.
Almost 300 students had to repeat the entire course, whilst 170 students were referred.
At the time, many of the students blamed the Independent Examination Board for the mass failure whilst others blamed the existing curriculum.
The Ghana School of Law lecturers, including Justices of the Supreme and Appeals Courts, together with some seasoned lawyers also threatened to resign over the results.
The lecturers subsequently demanded that the General Legal Council review and collate the exam scores, reduce the exorbitant cost of re-marking from GHc 3,000 to GHC 500 per paper, and cancel all questions set from outside the course manual.
Some of these concerns were raised a year ago with some students also calling for General Legal Council to allow independent examiners to mark the law students’ papers.
The GLC, concerning the concerns raised by the Ghana School of Law students over the exam results, urged the students to use the appropriate institutional structures to seek redress.
“The public is also reminded of the provisions of the Legal Profession (Professional and Post-Call Law Course) Regulations 2018, LI 2355 which provides for, among other safeguards, an Independent Examination Council as a precautionary step to ensure a level-playing field in the organization and management of entry-point and final examinations of the Ghana School of Law towards enrollment into the Ghana Bar. The Regulations further outline procedures for students who wish to satisfy themselves about their results including lodging complaint with the Registrar for a review of results, by way of remarking of scripts, retallying and re-collation of marks. Students are advised to apprise themselves with the provisions of the Regulations and to apply them accordingly,” it said.
The GLC in its statement assured that it will continue to ensure that all “qualified eligible tertiary graduates irrespective of their origin or status in the society are afforded the opportunity to participate in and write the requisite examinations to qualify them for enrollment as lawyers in Ghana.”