The National Association of Law Students (NALS) has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Independent Examination Council (IEC) to disclose a clear cut pass mark for prospective students of the Ghana School of Law (GSL).
This comes on the back of a notice for the sale of application forms for entry to the GSL by the Independent Examinations Committee of the GLC without a clear cut pass mark.
“Eligible applicants who attain the minimum threshold mark set by the General Legal Council for this particular year will be offered admission for the 2022/2023 academic year to pursue the professional law course,” the notice said.
A statement issued by the NALS on Monday, 1 August 2021, said it is “deeply disappointed with the failure or refusal of the IEC/GLC to disclose, or be transparent about the entrance examination minimum threshold mark applicants are to attain for the GLC to offer them admission this year.”
The association noted that: “Following the Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare v Attorney-General & GLC (WRIT NO. J1/1/2016), a 50 percent aggregated score has been the unhidden pass mark in the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 202I1 pre-election, election and post-election year examinations.
“In light of the unfortunate and wrongful attempt to deny 499 successful applicants admission to the Ghana School of Law through a grading variation last year, we, law students, find this attempt to further obfuscate an already opaque process unsettling, especially at a time when we need to be fully focused on our studies for the exam.”
The association further bemoaned the inability of the GLC to decentralise legal education in the country to allow qualified law faculties to run the professional bar training course.
“Despite the yearly increase in the number of applicants and the backlog, GLC continues to delay decentralising the course to capable law faculties or other educational institutions, preferring instead to put its faith in a flawed entrance exam, which, itself, does nothing to address the crisis arising from infrastructural inadequacies at the Ghana School of Law.”
The students called on “members of Parliament, the Right to Information Commission, Civil Society Organisations, particularly Faith-based organisations and progressive public-spirited members of the Bar Association to wake up the conscience of the nation, particularly the membership of the GLC to do right and what is fair and transparent pursuant to Articles 25(2) and 21(1)(f) of the 1992 Constitution and Sections 13 and 18 of the Right to Information Act 2019 (Act 989).”
It indicated that the NALS cannot support the “additional administrative change or any other arbitrariness which simply manipulate the number of candidates considered for admission,” to the GSL.
It also reminded “all stakeholders of their duty to act to end the impunity. Today, it is law students on the chopping block, tomorrow, it will be your livelihoods as lawyers. Where does it end? The time to take a stand against the arbitrariness of the General Legal Council is today.”