Limiting numbers of lawyers produced not the best – CDD’s Dr. Asante
The Director of Policy Research at the Center Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr. Kojo Asante, has insisted that producing more lawyers in the country will not reduce the quality of legal education in the country.
According to him, the system must not be tampered with in a way to compulsorily limit the number of people trained and graduated as lawyers.
Dr. Asante’s views come on the back of a recent statement by Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo who said she will not allow the mass production of lawyers in the country.
Speaking at the Bench, Bar and Faculty Conference on the theme “The Changing Landscape in the Law – The Judge, the lawyer and the Academic”, the Chief Justice said, “those of you lawyers and those of your lecturers who are busy advocating free scale, mass admissions into the professional law course, and mass production of lawyers, to be careful what you wish for. So long as I have anything to do with it, it won’t happen. Just like you can’t mass produce doctors and surgeons, Ghanaians must not have mass-produced lawyers imposed on them.”
But Dr. Asare said although there is a genuine concern to ensure that quality is not sacrificed for a so-called mass admission policy, there must not be deliberate actions to curtail the number of people seeking to be trained as lawyers.
“The logic for me doesn’t fit. Let us go through the regime, but putting a cap is not the way to assess quality. She is one important voice but we still have to make the case. If more of us understand and appreciate that we need to change the system then I think at the end that is what we should do,” he said.
The law school admission tussle
The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees.
The current training regime limits the intake into the Ghana Law School to under 500 of the about-2000 LLB graduates annually.
Recently, a United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, Professor Kwaku Asare, resuscitated his dispute with the General Legal Council.
Professor Kwaku Asare, went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law.
According to him, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB.
When the Supreme Court declared the interviews unconstitutional, it said the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission.
It would be recalled that Parliament passed LI 2235 in March 2018 that got rid of the interviews while retaining the entrance examination for admissions to the Ghana Law School.
Focus on efficiency of courts not number lawyers produced
Professor Kwaku Asare wants the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo to focus on the efficiency of the courts in Ghana and allow the universities to deliver law education to students.
According to him the universities are the best bet in training lawyers and delivering legal education.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Tuesday he said if the bar examination is diagnostic enough, it will ensure that only quality students are admitted into law schools.
“I will suggest that the Chief Justice should focus on enhancing the efficiency of the court and allow the universities to use their comparative advantage in delivering legal education and training lawyers then we can agree on some form of bar examination that will be administered to all law graduates and those who pass. If the bar examination is diagnostic enough it will pick up the high-quality lawyers, ” he said.