The statutory law governing the legal profession needs urgent revision to reflect current changes in the profession, the Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Mary Chinery-Hesse has advocated.
She said since the Legal Profession Act, 1960 (Act 32) was passed 62 years ago, there haD been several changes affecting the practice of the legal profession, hence the need to review it to make the training of lawyers more relevant.
“The world we live in has changed exponentially since the Act 32 was passed 62 years ago.
“There is an urgent need for its revision to reflect these changes and make the training of lawyers in Ghana more relevant and in tune with the world we live on today,” Mrs Chinery-Hesse said at a congregation ceremony of the University of Ghana School of Law in Accra today (September 3, 2022).
The school conferred degrees on a total of 150 students who had satisfied the requirements for graduation during the 2021/2022 academic year.
The year group which formed students from 45 different countries across the globe were the first batch of students to physically graduate since the country confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 12, 2020.
A female student, Davina Seyram Gbedy, graduated top of her class with a Final Grade Point Average of 3.69.
Touching on the recent debate about legal education in the country, Mrs Chinery-Hesse reiterated the need to balance the training of the large number of lawyers needed in the country with the quality of education offered as well as the provision of human and material resources for the institutions that train the country’s lawyers.
The Chancellor commended the management of the school for the various initiatives such as the classroom modernisation project, hotspot comfort zones, and the "one student, one laptop initiative" geared towards enhancing student experience, adding, “It is my hope that as these initiatives near fruits, our students who will be the beneficiaries will ensure that they take appropriate care of the equipment and facilities for use by successive students”.
She further charged the graduating class to be committed to the ethics of the profession particularly independence, honesty and integrity as they moved on to the professional law school to become practitioners.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, Professor Gordon A. Awandare, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, explained that the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) programme, was duly accredited and valid until July 2023.
She further announced that the School of Law would receive various accreditation panels from the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, from September to October 2022, for the accreditation and re-accreditation of various programmes.
Similar processes, she said were taking place across all the schools of the university to ensure that all programmes remained in good standing.
Also, she added that a Committee had been set up to review and update the University’s Statutes.
The review, she said was to reflect the collegiate status adopted in 2014, and various other changes in governance that had taken place since the current statutes were approved in 2010.
The review, she said was expected to be completed by early next year.