Private legal practitioner, Dr Justice Yankson, has backed Justice Sophia Akuffo’s firm stance on the need to maintain high standards at the bar.
Sophia Akuffo’s tenure as Chief Justice ended on Friday, December 20, 2019, after two years in office and was fraught with controversies about what critics say is her unprogressive and conservative stance on legal education.
But taking a marked diversion from the predominant view among legal practitioners that the former Chief Justice’s stance on legal education was unprogressive, Dr Yankson, who is also a medical doctor, said the calibre of the teachers at the many law schools springing up is questionable.
“As a people, sometimes we also gloss over certain things. We also need to interrogate the foundations of the structures we are trying to put in place.
“Suddenly we have a lot of faculties springing up because everybody has a right to legal education, no problem. But that does not also mean that the standards aspects should also be compromised.
“Go to the faculties and ask the calibre of people who are teaching…sometimes some of these smaller institutions that have come up, a lawyer with practically no experience.
“Some are teaching because perhaps they have just completed an LLB. So I think that she was clearly of the view that we need to open up space but in the process, we shouldn’t also sacrifice the standards,” he said on Joy News’ Newsfile, Saturday.
But many will disagree with Dr Yankson, President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA).
For instance, another legal practitioner, Prof Kwaku Asare, has said the contribution of former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to legal education during her two-year tenure was “a disaster”.