Minority to oppose Attorney-General’s legal profession bill – Ayine
The Minority in Parliament is set for a showdown with the Attorney General on his new Legal Profession Bill 2021.
The bill which is yet to be laid in parliament to be the Attorney General’s response to recent controversies surrounding admission into the Ghana School of Law.
Government had come under intense public criticisms following the General Legal Council’s earlier refusal to admit some 499 students into the Law School, although they passed.
Attorney General is now seeking to introduce a Legal Profession Bill to consolidate and amend the existing legislation regulating the profession.
Among others, clause 30(2) of the bill says the General Legal Council may allocate quotas to universities that the Council has approved to run the Bachelor of Laws program. This has been criticized as further closing the door to legal education in the country.
The bill will also reintroduce the previously discarded interview process as part of the admission into the Ghana Law School.
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Under the new bill, the criticized Independent Exams Committee will now become a creation of Law.
To appeal decisions of the General Legal Council’s Disciplinary Committee, under the new bill, affected persons can no longer go to the High Court but the Supreme Court. But they must first seek the leave of the Disciplinary Committee or the Supreme Court.
But Dr. Dominic Ayine, who himself, with two other MPs, has tabled a private members bill in the same subject, said the proposals contained in the Attorney General’s bill are not something they can support.
He was responding to a question from the host of PM EXPRESS, Evans Mensah as to whether he’s open to merging his bill with that of the AG and another private members bill filed by two other NDC MPs Rockson Dafeamekpor and Francis Xavier Sosu.
“The birfucated approach that is being adopted by the Attorney General’s bill is not something we want to support and we will be galvanizing support in parliament to go against that. I don’t think we should combine the regulation of professional legal education with the legal profession as a whole. In England, they have done the separation. And because of the growing demand on Legal Education, I think we need a special body”, he argued.
The crux of the private members’ bill which is being sponsored by Dr. Dominic Ayine, Muntaka Mubarak, and Patrick Boamah is to give the vatious law faculties the power to provide professional legal education on their own. This is a view that is very popular with law students especially, because of the difficulties encountered to enter the Ghana Law School, which is a monopoly.