The Chief Justice nominee, Sophia Akuffo, is against calls for the Ghana Law School to be scrapped.
During her vetting, Justice Akuffo reminded that, the Ghana Law School provided much more than theoretical training.
[contextly_sidebar id=”BuPDpRt5ZZ6nOzuvksZvrZVyldqY3RlC”]“What happens in the universities at the faculties of law is that, they educate people academically on the law as a theory – on knowledge of the law” but “the Ghana School of Law is a professional training facility. That is where the theories learnt in classrooms are supposed to be taught from a more practical point of view and that is how it has been,” she explained.
Justice Akuffo did acknowledge the difficulty in entering the Ghana Law School currently, as she recalled that during her schooling days, “it was such seamless transition that some of us thought it was part of the University of Ghana.”
But she maintained that “when you want to be called a lawyer, a professional, then you come to the professional school, like in architecture, you do the theory and then there is the practicals. Same with medicine, you do the classroom work and then you get to the clinicals.”
Arguments for reform
The Ghana Law School has been criticized for its strict formality, which some believe keeps the profession exclusive.
At the moment, the only institution authorized to provide the professional training is the Ghana School of Law serving 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.
Critics of the current status quo have called for the school to be scrapped, with IMANI Africa’s vice President, Kofi Bentil, suggesting the Ghana Law School be turned into an examination body.
Among other arguments, in 2016, a private legal practitioner and current Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, also argued that, existing lawyers try to protect their market share by limiting the number of students who go through the Ghana School of Law.
The Member of Parliament for North Dayi, Jocelyn Tetteh, joined calls for the decentralization of the training of lawyers in Ghana, arguing that reforms would liberalize the training of lawyers and ease the pressure on the Ghana Law School.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana