May 28, 2024 1:48 am

Law School Mass Failures: ‘You cannot make a rule after an event to take retrospective effect’ – Martin Kpebu to GLC

Private legal practitioner, Martin Luther Kpebu has expressed shock that “the finest brains” behind the legal profession in Ghana can make a rule after an event to take retrospective effect.  

He says rules are supposed to be made before an event, rather than introducing it afterwards.

“You can’t make a rule after the event and ask that the rule retrospectively affect the victims,” he indicated.

Mr. Kpebu’s comment come on the back of a supposed new rule introduced by the General Legal Council (GLC) which requires students to pass a minimum threshold of 50% in both sections of their entrance examination before being admitted to the Ghana School of Law (GSL).

Of the 2,824 candidates that sat for the 2021 examination, 790 passed with some 499 others obtaining the 50% mark but still couldn’t advance because of the new regulation.

The consistent practice has, however, been that, students acquire a cumulative mark of 50% but not necessarily getting beyond the average mark in each section of the paper.

In a monitored discussion on TV3’s ‘The KeyPoints’, by, Mr. Kpebu noted the new criterion as explicitly absent from the requirements published in the Daily Graphic before the examination took place makes it untidy for it to be initiated afterwards.

“It doesn’t look tidy that the best lawyers in the country would sit and make such decision. It is only in Parliament that the budgetary allocation is done that way,” he told host, Dzifa Bampoe.

Meanwhile, SRC president of the Ghana School of Law, Wonder Victor Kutor, speaking on the same show expressed worry as to why Parliament approved a budget for only 500 students for the GSL in 2021 before it was increased to 800.

Mr. Kutor believes there is a probability that the GLC’s hands have been tied by the budget provided by the legislature, making them admit only 790 students out of the over 2000 that sat for the examination.

But, Mr. Kpebu in a quick reaction averred that cannot be a big issue since the “budget gives room for contingencies, meaning when they do the needful, it can still be catered for.”

The 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance exams saw 28 percent of the LLB candidates gain entrance to Ghana’s only institution for training lawyers.

790 out of 2,824 candidates passed the exam organised earlier this year.

The pass rate is in line with previous years, except for 2020, where 1,045 students out of 2,763 passed the entrance examination.

In 2019, only 128 candidates out of a total of 1,820 passed the exam.

In 2017, 500 students were admitted into the School, with 450 students admitted in 2016.

The poor pass rate has in the past sparked calls for a reform of legal education in Ghana.

Critics have said the GLC deliberately restricts people from gaining access to legal education.


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