Two Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) are seeking to introduce a private members’ bill to change the composition of the General Legal Council (GLC) and provide for reforms in Legal Education.
Rockson-Nelson Etse K. Dafeamekpor of South Dayi and Francis Xavier Kojo Sosu of Madina have written to request the Legislative Drafting Office of Parliament to draft for subsequent submission to the Speaker, a Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960 (Act 32).
The proposed law intends to exclude the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court from the GLC and redefine the functions of the GLC in order for it to provide for “reforms in legal education” such that accredited Faculties of Law with the requisite facilities would be licensed to run professional law courses, provide for discipline of lawyers and related matters to give effect to Article 37(1) of the 1992 Constitution.
In a memo to the Clerk to Parliament, the two NDC MPs said their move was premised on “recent reports of mass failure in the law school entrance exams and related outcry from the general public.”
The memo had leaked after the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame dismissed a directive by Parliament to the General Legal Council (GLC) to proceed to admit all the students who passed the entrance examination for admission into the Ghana School of Law (GSL).
The AG, in a response, affirmed the authority of the GLC on legal education and said that parliament had no power to ‘direct and control’ the process of admission into the Ghana School of Law.
According to him, the mode of exercising legislative power as enshrined in article 106 of the Constitution does not admit of parliamentary ‘resolutions’, noting that the executive arm is the one vested with the power to direct and advise the General Legal Council on major matters of national importance.
However, the MPs, who appeared dissatisfied by the AG’s response, want the issue to be resolved through amendment to the Legal Professions Act, 1960 (Act 32), arguing that given the fact that this has been the trends for some time now, “it is important to review the policy direction behind the running of Law School by the General Legal Council.”