Ghana Law School Admission: Why Supreme Court Scrapped School’s Entrance Exams

Ghana law school admission process: Per Supreme Court’s ruling, LLB holders will no longer have to write entry examinations as well as pass an interview before they are admitted to pursue their professional careers in law

Information has been rife that the Ghana Supreme Court has debarred the General Legal Council from making examinations and interviews mandatory for applicants to the Ghana Law school.

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These criteria for entrance into the school was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, with the reason being that the requirements are in violation of the Legislative Instrument (LI) 1296, which gives direction for the mode of admission. Before we talk about on what the LI requires, we would like to dwell a bit on what brought about a lawsuit in the first place.

The Case

The case had been presented by Professor Kwaku Asare, the plaintiff who went to court in 2015, challenging the legality of the modes of admission used by the Ghana School of Law. According to the United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, the number of people who were admitted into the Ghana School of Law was woefully small considering the number of people who possessed LLB (Bachelor of Law).

This according to him was due to the extremely rigorous admission process which required LLB holders to write entry examinations as well as pass an interview before they are admitted into the school.

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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.

He sought a declaration that the GLC’S exclusion of persons who have qualified under Regulation 2 of L1 1296 from pursuing the Professional law course violates Article ll (7)297 (d), 23, and 296 (a) and (b) of the Constitution.

The plaintiff also prayed the court for an order directed at the GLC to adjust within 60 days, its modes of instructions in such a way that it would accommodate all persons meeting the requirement of Ll 1296.

Supreme Court Order

Ruling on the case the court ruled that the Ghana Law school must put an end to the pre-entrance assessments. The Justices in delivering their judgment ruled that the order should be implemented in six months when admissions for the 2018 academic year begins.

The court, however, said its ruling will not affect the ongoing admission process for the 2017/18 academic year.

The court directed the Ghana Law School to put in place a quota system for its accredited institutions namely Law faculties of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

What the Legislative Instrument (LI) 1296 Requires

The L.I 1296 requires an applicant to have passed specific seven subjects during the LLB program, be of good behavior and should hold an LLB degree in order to be considered for admission into the Ghana School of Law.

The writing of entry exams and passing an interview are not part of the requirements in the LI 1296.

Ghana Law School Admission Process

The Ghana Law School has been criticized for being overly rigid considering that it serves 12 schools providing LLB degrees. The school which enjoys monopoly limits openings for thousands of LLB holders. The current training regime limits the intake into the Ghana Law School to under 500 of the about-2000 LLB graduates annually.

It is a situation which sees fully fledged graduates toiling to get admitted into the Law school. Often times these LLB holders despite several trials, get kicked out as a result of high cut off marks imposed by the school. However, with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the rigorous Ghana law school admission process will be made more accommodating for Law graduates.