The Supreme Court has dismissed an injunction application that sought to restrain the General Legal Council from organizing entrance exams scheduled for Friday, 27th July,2018.
Citi News’ Caleb Kudah reports that the court presided over by Justice Anim Ansah ruled that the L.I passed by Parliament that allows for an entrance examination in March this year is the one in force.
US-based Ghanaian Lawyer, Prof. Kwaku Asare, took the matter to court arguing that qualified LLB holders are entitled to be admitted to law school.
Giving a summary of proceedings in court today [Thursday], Prof. Asare’s lawyer, Kofi Bentil, said “The court has a made a ruling and the ruling was that Act 32 which is the proper statute does not hold examination and so this examination should not have come out, but the court is saying that the General Legal Council has passed a new legislative instrument and the court’s argument is that the legislative instrument is what is in force. That legislative instrument says there must be an examination and so they did not grant our injunction.”
Mr. Bentil indicated that they will “move to the next step of bringing before the Supreme Court, the position that the new L.I 23 (35) is unconstitutional since it does not conform with Act 32.”
Law school entrance application suffers setback
This ruling comes days after the court struck out the case following an objection by the General Legal Council over what they described as a defective affidavit.
Professor Asare in his affidavit which he deposed to, had another person sign for him which contravenes the rules of the court.
After several attempts to convince the court to have the mistake corrected, a lawyer for the plaintiff, Kofi Bentil withdrew the application and filed a fresh one.
Details of injunction
Professor Asare in his injunction had argued that “the failure to make changes to LI 1296 either puts the defendants in contempt of the Court’s order cited supra or requires the constructive inference that they have complied with the Court’s order by impliedly endorsing LI 1296 as the law to govern the admissions in 2018.”
He further averred that “in either case, it is indisputable that as at December 22, 2017 (the Court’s deadline), LI 1296 had neither been amended, repealed nor replaced, and thus remained unequivocally the only law on admission to govern the 2018 admissions.”
Supreme Court ruling barring interviews
When the Supreme Court declared the interviews conducted for admissions into the law school as unconstitutional, it said the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission.
The Justices in delivering their judgment, also indicated that their order should not take retrospective effect, but should be implemented in six months, when admissions for the 2018 academic year begin.
The plaintiff, Professor Kwaku Asare, went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law. According to him, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB.
The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees.
The current training regime limits the intake into the Ghana Law School to under 500 of the about-2000 LLB graduates annually.
In his suit, Professor Kwaku Asare prayed for a declaration that GLC’s imposition of entrance examination and interview requirements for the Professional Law Course violates Articles ll (7) 297 (d) 23, 296 (a) (b) and 18 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.