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Don’t pass GI proposed by GLC- Prof Asare to Parliament

Prof. Kweku Asare has stated that, the Parliament should reconsider the decision of passing the Legislative Instrument (LI), which is aimed at seeking new regulations for admitting professional law courses in the country arguing that it will defeat the dream of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

The US based Ghanaian Lawyer stated that, “the proposed LI is at variance with the Legal Profession Act (the Parent Act) in that it seeks to shut the doors of the School of Law to LLB graduates while the Parent Act commands the GLC to provide opportunities for all LLB graduates to become Lawyers”.

He has expressed his worries that, acquiring a degree in LLB and being denied an opportunity to become a Lawyer is a fruit less exercise that a country like Ghana can afford.

In a long statement by the Professor, he further indicated saying, “That the only reason for the proposed LI is because the General Legal Council (GLC) has failed to name alternative places of instruction for LLB degree holders as specified by the Parent Act. The ensuing lack of space, created by the GLC’s strategic inertia and failure to follow the Parent Act, is not a legitimate reason to allow an LI to pass that undermines the Parent Act”.

Below are some of the statements the renowned Lawyer made…

Dear Honourable MPs: Tomorrow, Friday, March 2, 2018, you will be invited to deliberate on the Legal Profession (Professional and Post-Call Law Course) Regulations, 2018.

 

The question you will be deciding is whether to allow it to ripen into law or annul it. Your vote will be a red-letter one in that it will potentially determine the future of legal education and the nation’s commitment to justice and the rule of law.

 

On behalf of the students who will be directly affected by your vote and on behalf of all concerned citizens, I respectfully make this final plea to you to annul the LI on the following grounds:

 

1. The proposed LI is at variance with the Legal Profession Act (the Parent Act) in that it seeks to shut the doors of the School of Law to LLB graduates while the Parent Act commands the GLC to provide opportunities for all LLB graduates to become Lawyers.

 

2. It seeks to administer examinations to LLB graduates who are not enrolled at the School of Law while the Parent Act permits it to administer preliminary, intermediate and final exams to only students enrolled at the School of Law or alternative place of instructions.

 

3. The Parent Act conceptualizes legal education as a joint process that involves an entry point at the Universities and an exit point at the School of Law or alternative places of instructions. The Parent Act never conceptualized the LLB as a terminal degree.

 

4. That an LLB degree without an opportunity to become a lawyer is a vain exercise that no country, certainly not a developing country like Ghana, can afford.

 

5. That the proposed LI seeks to kill and will kill President Kwame Nkrumah’s vision to make professional legal education accessible to all qualified law graduates.

 

6. That the only reason for the proposed LI is because the General Legal Council (GLC) has failed to name alternative places of instruction for LLB degree holders as specified by the Parent Act. The ensuing lack of space, created by the GLC’s strategic inertia and failure to follow the Parent Act, is not a legitimate reason to allow an LI to pass that undermines the Parent Act.

 

7.That the entrance examination that the GLC seeks to impose is completely non-diagnostic. In 2017, only 20% of the candidates who passed this examination and the interview passed the exams administered at the School of Law.

 

8. That since 2012, the GLC has been engaged in a series of unlawful and unconstitutional practices that have deprived 3,000 qualified graduates of their intellectual property right to profession education.
 

9. That the proposed LI does not address the grave constitutional injury inflicted upon the 3,000 graduates.

 
10.That the Supreme Court has ruled that the law to govern the admission to the school of law or alternative places of instruction in 2018 must be in place by December 22, 2017.
 
11. That LI 1296 is the law in place on December 22, 2017 and that it is the LI that shall govern 2018 admissions to the school of law or alternative places of instruction.
 
12. That the proposed LI does not follow the due process mandated under Article 296 in that it was not preceded by notice, public hearings, consultations of alternatives. Even many legal academics at the various universities have not seen copies of the LI and are therefore unaware of its contents.
 
13. That the proposed LI is constitutionally defective in that it fails to provide an explanatory memorandum stating the principles and policies of the LI, the problem that it seeks to cure, how the problem is solved, alternatives evaluated and an impact assessment. For the avoidance of doubt, the Article 106 requirement that all bills be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum clearly applies to subsidiary legislation under their Parent Acts.
14. That the Subsidiary Committee should not have based its recommendation on a bill that may or may never pass and that was shown to some of its members but is unavailable to all MPs and the public.
15. That the Subsidiary Committee should not have based its recommendation on a bill that may or may never pass and that was shown to some of its members but is unavailable to MPs and the public.
16. That Parliament must not be seen as partaking in any scheme that perpetuates injustice and robs citizens of their substantive legitimate expectations. Passing this LI will do just that.

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