Legal education institutions urged not to compromise on quality training

Kumasi, April, 27, GNA - A Supreme Court Judge has stressed the need for legal education and training institutions to stick to the age-old quality professional legal training regime in the country which has been the envy of many countries in the world.

Her Ladyship Justice Mariama Owusu, who made the call, said the expansion in access to legal education as a result of increasing population and economic activities in Ghana, should in no way, be an excuse to compromise on quality of legal education and training.

Justice Owusu made the call at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Kumasi Campus of the Ghana School of Law in Kumasi.

The week-long celebration was on the theme “10 Years after the Kumasi Campus, What Next in Professional Legal Education.”

She explained that legal education in Ghana had gone through a lot of reforms in recent years resulting in many tertiary institutions offering courses and training in that area with numerous attendant challenges.

Justice Owusu said there were times when some young lawyers were unable to address the bench, which portrayed undertrained skills.

“The trend we have noticed is that a lot more people do the course whilst in full time employment - they have little time to study and go round getting notes to study for say two weeks,”, she stated.

This, she stressed was not the best of practices and underscored the need for legal education and training institutions to maintain higher standards and the need for young lawyers to embrace the ethics of the legal profession.

Justice Owusu warned that the General Legal Council’s Disciplinary Committee had sanctions for those who breached the ethics of the legal profession and advised young lawyers “not to practice from under trees, but more importantly, do not engage in sharp practices.”

Mr Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, Acting Director, Ghana School of Law, indicated that the citing of the Kumasi campus by the General Legal Council some 10 years ago had served its purposes.

He said the way forward was to set up an autonomous law school in Kumasi, where authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) would fulfill its potential.

On increment in enrolment, he said with the approval of the General Legal Council, construction of a four-storey academic emergency facility block would start as part of the Law Village Project to accommodate more than thousand five hundred students.

Mr Opoku Agyemang appealed to the government to assist in completing the project to avoid a crisis in the admission of students.