Claims of deliberate restrictions on legal education ‘complete nonsense’ – Sam Okudzeto
Senior legal practitioner and former president of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto says it defies the logic of statistics for anyone to assert that management of legal education in the country are deliberately preventing people from becoming lawyers.
According to the former member of the General Legal Council, it makes no sense for people to believe every student with a law degree qualifies for admission into the law school and subsequently merits a call to the Bar, considering available statistics.
“You can take statistics anywhere in the world that you can find, and find out the number of people who actually go to the law school and then to find out the number who actually go to the bar to practice law. You can see that statistically what they are talking about is complete nonsense.”
Mr Okudzeto who has a long history in the teaching of legal practice, speaking on JoyNews’ Upfront program Wednesday night said, for legal mentors who pride themselves in the quality of the people they train, it will be absurd for anyone to suggest a deliberate attempt by a cabal made up of players in the legal education system to prevent students from being called to the Bar.
He had earlier noted that the decision by the National Accreditation Board to allow some universities including private ones to offer law courses has led to a dip in the quality of students seeking to enter the law school.
He also questioned the quality of the teachers who teach law in the universities and suggested that an audit be conducted in the universities offering law courses to check the quality of the lecturers and the education they give to students.
He added that whiles a law degree can be acquired for various purposes, the purpose of being called to the Bar makes it necessary for setting the standards at the School of Law higher.
The Ghana School of Law is known for recording high failures in its entrance and final exams.
This year, out of over a thousand students who sat for the entrance exam, only 7% passed to be admitted. The situation in previous years has not been any different.
The cause of the mass failures at the School of Law has been attributed to many reasons, with some people suggesting a deliberate attempt by players in the legal education system, including the general Legal Council to limit the number of people gaining access to professional legal education.