Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong wants urgent steps taken in resolving the persistent mass failures recorded during the Ghana School of law bar exams.
She says, although compromising quality to train lawyers will jeopardize the profession, the poor performance, according to her is also a major cause for alarm.
Sharing her thought on what in her view appears to be a crisis, the astute lawyer of international repute admonished all relevant stakeholders to quickly take decisive actions to address the challenges.
“I think that an issue has been raised about entry into the Ghana School of Law. If a huge number of students write an exam and only 128 made it, then obviously there is something that needs to be looked at. They need to look at it quickly. The only thing I can say is that it’s been said over and over again that they won’t compromise on quality which I think everybody agrees on”, she said on Eyewitness News
Months ago, the Ghana School of Law recorded yet another case of mass examination failure only months after a similar one was witnessed which saw more than half of the candidates for the Bar exams failing.
This time around, the mass failure was recorded at the entrance exams.
Of the nearly 1,820 prospective students, only 128 reportedly passed the entrance examination.
Due to the high failure rates, many have called for serious reforms in the country’s legal education regime.
Some have suggested that the General Legal Council (GLC) should be stripped of the power to conduct entrance exams and the three Schools of Law it operates, to be made to function as law faculties that will competitively be training LLB students who can sit for general bar exam and qualified candidates duly called to the bar.
“We need to decouple the education and the regulation. Let them [General Legal Council] stay on a competition basis, train them [LLB students], and when the students have their degree, they apply to take a common bar exam administered by a qualified bar examiners and anyone who passes that becomes a lawyer,” a Ghanaiana legal practitioner, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Prof. Azar suggested.
But the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo had said the existing systems and structures for the training of lawyers in the country will not be changed despite public outcry.
She stressed that the current system that many deem as strict and unfair, is meant to ensure that lawyers who are trained in the country are of global standards.