Treat law students as subjects, not objects – Kofi Abotsi

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Mon, 30 Dec 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ernest Kofi Abotsi, Managing Partner at Axis Legal and former Dean at the Faculty of Law, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), has said law students should be treated as subjects and not objects when it comes to legal education in the country.

According to him, there must be some reforms regarding how students are admitted to pursue professional training at the Ghana School of Law, Makola.

‘The problem is the current state of the reform itself needs reforming. The victims however of the entire circumstances of what we are experiencing today are the students,” he said.

He explained that the students do not have clarity on the exams they write, no clarity on who sets the exams for them to write and no clarity on what to expect in the exams they write.

Mr Abotsi explained that the exit exams that law students write before leaving the law school actually cannot be described as an exit exam but rather a progressional exam.

He said that an exit exam is a one-time exam which a student writes and passes, there is no other examination to write again before one is called to the Bar.

But Abotsi believes because of political expediency, none of the stakeholders wants to talk about it.

“The law school may have outlived its jurisprudence because once you put people in a physical space, some must [leave] for others to come and there have been reality in the past of cases in which a certain number of students fail a particular exam and the key question was asked ‘If they do not go there can’t be any admission for the next batch to come into that space,” he said on Joy FM's Newsfile last Saturday.

He indicated that stakeholders should worry about the exit examination that will qualify students to be called to the Bar and not the mass failure with the entrance examination “but if you are worried about even entering then it is a problem".

Mr Abotsi stated further that the uncertainties at the entry point are as high as the uncertainties at the exit point because “there are cases students have written exams and have come out complaining that they were not sure whether the paper was a criminal law paper or law of evidence paper.”

The legal reforms he noted “needs to take account of issues of transparency, thus, students must have the sense of what to expect…the reform needs to take account of the training of the faculty members (teachers) because the questions that are set in the exam appears to be out of sync of what is being taught".

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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