The Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, has announced that plans are far advanced for the commencement of the construction of a larger campus for the Ghana School of Law.
This, however, will not translate into mass admissions, she said, as all admissions will be based purely on merit.
“Plans have been made for the creation of new and other campuses away from the hustle and bustle of central Accra for which land was acquired some years ago. The plan for the execution of this project is expected to be captured in the 2020 budget which is being prepared now.
“But, however much available space is increased, the GLC [General Legal Council] will never relent on its commitment to assure us of the production of quality lawyers through the observation of highest standards.
“I am sure after all you have been through, you feel that you are part of a special group not because of exclusiveness but because you are here by merit,“ she said Friday, at an induction ceremony for new lawyers in Accra.
The GLC which is chaired by the Chief Justice has come under intense criticism in recent times following the failure of hundreds of students to gain admission into the Ghana School of Law.
Over 90 per cent of the students who sat for the recent examination failed to make the cut for admission.
Results showed that of the 1,820 candidates who sat for the entrance exams, only 128, representing 7 per cent passed.
The mass failure comes on the back of a similar failure in the Ghana Bar exams a few months ago. More than 90 per cent of the 727 students who wrote that exams failed, sparking agitation among the students.
The development has left the public anxious with many blaming the Chief Justice who is on record to have said mass production of lawyers will reduce the quality and standards of the profession, for refusing to open up law education in the country.
Despite plans to expand the professional training centre, the Chief Justice insists standards will not be lowered.
“The position of the General Legal Council remains that admission to the Ghana School of Law for professional legal education requires that successful candidates obtain a minimum mark of 50% in an entrance exam administered by the Independent Examination Committee.
“By this competitive strict standard, the Ghana School of Law has over the years increased its intake and maintains two other campuses in addition to the main campus in Central Accra, to accommodate the growing interest in legal education,” she added.
She told the graduates, they are lawyers today not because others have been excluded but based on merit.
She further revealed the National Accreditation Board and the General Legal Council are currently assessing law training facilities across the country.
A report on the outcome of that exercise will determine whether or not students from such faculties will be permitted to register for the sitting of the entrance exam into the professional law course, she stated.
“The GLC continues in its quest to assure the people of this great Republic, we want to assure them excellence in Professional legal education and production of quality lawyers that they so well and dearly deserve.”
“Furthermore new lecturers and tutors have been appointed to meet the needs of students and assure the production of good quality lawyers,” she said.