Chief Justice nominee, Sophia Akuffo says the country’s legal training will suffer if the Ghana School of Law is scrapped as being clamoured for.
The Harvard-trained lawyer said the School provides practical legal training to students which is absent in the various faculties of law where Bachelor of Law degrees are obtained.
Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Friday, the Supreme Court judge said the universities educate students academically on the law which is not sufficient to make one a lawyer.
“The Ghana School of Law is a professional training facility and that is where the theories learnt in classrooms are supposed to be taught from a more practical point of view,” she said.
There have been suggestions that the Ghana School of Law be completely scrapped for the various faculties of law to take over its functions.
Some of the calls are borne out of the challenges of LLB holders face in getting admitted into the Law School.
The enrollment process is said to be riddled with favouritism and corruption.
Outspoke law lecturer at the University of Ghana, Kwame Gyan in 2015 said the Law School has underserved its purpose of providing young lawyers with the requisite skills.
He said public confidence in the School is low because of the needless bureaucracies at the school which stall academic progress.
Founding Dean of the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Faculty of Law, Professor Kwame Frimpong also said the School cannot provide the legal needs of the country.
He said the current situation where students will have to journey especially from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region to Accra to attend the law school is unsustainable.
“What I think we should do is, we should scrap the Ghana School of Law which is just a school…so [that] the law school will not teach courses but will be an examining body acting for and on behalf of the General Legal Council,” he said.
Although she believes those arguing for the closure of the law school have a genuine case, she said that is not the best way forward.
“I am not one of those who subscribe to the Ghana School of Law being scrapped,” Sophia Akuffo said, adding systems must be put in place to make it effective.
“When we were in law school it was such a seamless transition that some of us thought the Ghana School of Law was part of the University of Ghana,” she said, adding training from the school has helped her.
“Instead of the theory of procedure, you are doing the practice [especially]; how to draw a charge and you are taught how you are going to marshal evidence to support that charge,” she said.
She promised to improve the efficiency of the school to provide legal training that meets the needs of the country.