The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, is advocating the appointment of a five-member eminent committee to review and reform legal education in Ghana, believing that is the best way to go considering the circumstances the stakeholders find themselves in.
In furtherance to his advocacy, he has also proposed a national conversation or symposium on the future of legal education in Ghana.
This, he noted, will help the five-member eminent committee to collate the views of stakeholders in legal education and incorporate same in their dealings to enable them design a roadmap for the country.
“Mr. Speaker, my own suggestion will be for Government that we should appoint a five-member Eminent Committee to review and reform legal education in Ghana. There should be a national conversation or a national symposium on the future of legal education. Academia have the men and women to do this. If you put them together and you say we want to know what the legal education in future should look like in the next 20 or 30 years, I’m sure they will give us a road map”, he noted.
The Minority Leader who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South made this observation on the floor of Parliament, Wednesday, February 5, 2020, when contributing to the motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the written petition by the National Association of Law Students seeking reforms in the country’s legal system.
The Committee had in its report, recommended in part to the honourable Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, to submit a new Bill to the House to replace the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill, 2018, to achieve the objectives.
It had on the account of the controversies surrounding the results of the 2019 entrance examination for admission to the Ghana School of Law, also recommended to the Ghana Legal Council (GLC) to commence the process for re-marking of scripts upon request and payment of reasonable fees.
Hon. Iddrisu commenting further on the issue took Parliament to the cleaners for running away from its responsibilities.
For instance, he said the legislature got it wrong in the first place when it took away interviews from the Legal Profession (Professional and Post-Call Law Course) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2355) it passed
“This parliament is running away from what it should have been doing. There is a relationship between policy and legislation. You legislate on policy when you feel strongly about the policy. We feel strongly that there is a crisis on legal education therefore the question that this Parliament must be asking is how do we use legislation to cure the defects that we have so recognized subsequent to the petition that has been presented to us? So, Parliament must not run away from our onerous responsibility. If there is a bill before us, how do we fine-tune that bill to respond to all the issues of remarking, examiners report, and comprehensive review of legal education?”, he quizzed.
He cautioned Parliament not to do anything that will compromise on the quality of legal education in the country considering the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which is currently before it for consideration.
“We should not do anything to dilute or compromise on the quality of legal education. What is the essence of examination? This Parliament must admit that we got it wrong. We got it wrong when we took away interviews in that L.I. that we passed. It is not wrong for us to swallow the humble pie. It was wrong. Where in the world do you have a lecturer teach then somebody will sit somewhere and set questions for that person and mark? It is wrong and we must condemn it. If you lecture, you must set examination. But Mr. Speaker, they are hiding something from us. I’m sure there are integrity problems associated with the conduct of examination; integrity problems with the marking; integrity problems of people who pass and people who don’t pass. You don’t deal with it by running away and say that you have set up an independent examination authority – that is not right”, he stressed.