Parliament’s directive to Ghana Legal Council questionable – Prof. Abotsi

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The Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Professional Studies (UPS), Accra, has said Parliament’s decision to direct the General Legal Council (GLC) to admit the 499 law students into the Ghana School of Law is questionable.

Professor Kofi Abotsi’s comments come after Parliament had issued a directive to the Ghana Legal Council (GLC) to admit the 499 students who were refused admission in the Ghana School of Law after going through the entrance exam and attaining some 50 per cent mark.

In the letter to the council, Parliament directed the General Legal Council “… to proceed and admit all the students who passed in accordance with the advertised rules of the examinations…”

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But in his response, Prof. Abotsi noted he does not dispute the fact that Parliament has oversight responsibility, however, the House should have invited the Attorney-General to speak to the issue brought before it.

“In this instance, Parliament is exercising its mandate of oversight, but the way Parliament is going about it is very problematic in my opinion because Parliament’s mandate of oversight is clearly defined.”

“The GLC is not autonomous. It still falls under an agency of the state. Ultimately, the AG has a seat at the GLC, and he could have been invited to Parliament for questioning,” he said.

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Speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View programme Monday night, the Dean added: “As a lawyer, I have not come across an instance where Parliament will issue a direct order to a statutory body. So in my simplistic view, Parliament has chosen a path that is unknown to me.”

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame has said the 50% pass mark being held as the benchmark for admitting students into the law school was rather “erroneous and insupportable” since the school never stated a specific mark against which the students would be adjudged.

“The notice in the Daily Graphic of 14th May 2021 inviting applications from suitably qualified Ghanaians for admission into the Ghana School of Law did not state a pass mark of fifty per cent (50%) or any at all as the basis for admission.

“The notice stated that applicants may be granted admission if they have passed the entrance examination conducted by the GLC. The Notice also did not state the manner in which a pass mark set by the GLC would be determined.

“It is clear therefore that a contention that the ‘originally announced’ or ‘advertised’ pass mark was 50%, is erroneous and insupportable.”

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