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High court strikes down GLC undertaking forced on law students before entrance exam

Wed, 21 Oct 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Law students who sat the 2019 Ghana School of Law Entrance Exams have won a case in which they sought to challenge an undertaking that they were forced to sign by the General Legal Council (GLC) not to challenge the results of the exam.

The students complained that prior to the exams they were compelled to sign an undertaking that they will accept the results without seeking a review.

According to them, the undertaking imposed by the General Legal Council on candidates including the Applicants is arbitrary, unreasonable and without legal basis.

The applicants state further that the General Legal Council has failed to provide sufficient clarity that gives dissatisfied candidates the opportunity to seek a review of the examination results.

The court presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, held that “the Respondent (GLC) must be accountable to candidates who apply to the [Ghana School of Law] in terms of the scores they obtained from the entrance examination and an allowance to review scripts upon application.”

The High Court has, therefore, ordered the GLC to give the students the opportunity to have their examination results reviewed or re-marked.

The procedure for doing this should be published by the GLC within 14 days from the delivery of the court's judgment, October 13, 2020, the court stated.

The students - Prince Ganaku, Mildred Songsore Salia, Stanislaw Osei-Bonsu, Adam Iddrisu and Asare Hassan - in October last year originated the jurisdiction of the High Court for the enforcement of their fundamental human rights under Article 33 (1) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 67 Rule 1 and 2 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004 (C.I. 47).

The Ghana School of Law last year recorded a case of mass examination failure where only 128 students out of 1,820 prospective students passed the entrance exams.

The President of the Student Representative Council of the Ghana School of Law, Jonathan Alua, said at the time that they are hopeful that the court will grant the reliefs.

The law students were seeking the following reliefs from the high court:

i. A declaration that the undertaking imposed by the Respondent on the Applicants to accept without question, the decision of the Respondent in respect of the published results of the examination organized on 26 July 2019 as final is arbitrary, unlawful, null and void and of no effect.

ii. A declaration that the failure, refusal or neglect of the respondent to publish a procedure for remarking the examination papers of the Applicants is arbitrary, unlawful, null and void, and of no effect.

iii. A declaration that the failure, refusal or neglect of the Respondent to provide sufficient clarity that gives dissatisfied candidates the opportunity to seek a review of their examination results is arbitrary, unlawful, null and void, and of no effect.

iv. An order directed at the Respondent to give the Applicants the opportunity to have their examination results reviewed or remarked.

v. An order directed at the Respondent to provide sufficient clarity that gives dissatisfied candidates the opportunity to seek a review or remark of their examination results.

vi. An order directed at the Respondent to publish the procedure for remarking the examination papers of the Applicants within seven (7) days.

vii. Costs.

In the Judgement, published below in full, the judge explained that she will grant reliefs (i) and (ii) being sought by the Applicants.

"I will further grant reliefs (iv) and (vi) by ordering the Respondent to give the Applicants the opportunity to have their examination results reviewed or remarked," the judge stated.

However, the judge states that she is unable to grant reliefs (iii) and (v) as they fall outside the ambit of her powers under Article 33 (1).

“The Applicants are inviting the Court to grant remedies in favour of persons who are first, not parties to this action and secondly, who have not complained before this Court as being aggrieved by any decision taken by the Respondent,” he judge explained in the judgement.

Read the full judgement below.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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