The National Association of Law Students has described as unfortunate, the Attorney General, Godfred Dame’s remarks that practicing law is a privilege and not a right.
In an interview with Citi News, one of the leaders for the National Association of Law Students, Asare Hassan, said these comments were indicative of the posturing of the General Legal Council’s perceived unfair handling of entrance examinations.
“They think that it is so much of a privilege than a right. That is why they have denied 499 students who have passed an exam the right to go to school and possibly become lawyers.”
Mr. Hassan also said the Attorney General’s remarks at the induction ceremony of new executives of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) earlier this week went foul of the constitution.
“Article 25 actually provides that persons shall have the right to equal education. You read [Article 17], and it also says do not discriminate.”
“To say it is a privilege to become a lawyer means that it is some kind of special right which indeed does not exist. I have not seen it anywhere in our laws, neither have I seen it anywhere as a written document,” he added.
The General Legal Council has faced consistent criticism over the Ghana School of Law entrance exams.
In the 2021 entrance exam, 790 out of 2,824 candidates passed, representing 28 percent.
A further 499 students are fighting to be admitted after they met the pass mark of the entrance exam despite failing one of the exam sections.
As a result of these concerns, the Madina MP, Francis-Xavier Sosu, and the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, are currently pushing for a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32.
The bill will, among other things, seek to amend Act 32 to exclude the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court from the General Legal Council and redefine its functions.
The Madina MP also came out to criticise the Attorney General’s comment, saying, “Law School is not a privilege, it is a constitutional right for every qualified Ghanaian.”