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Sunday, November 29, 2020
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Ghana’s legal education in danger – Prof Kotey

Staff Reporter

Professor Emmanuel Nii Ashie Kotey, Justice of the Supreme nominee, has proposed that all institutions offering legal education in the country are dis-accredited.

He said it was important that was done if the need be, before the institutions drove the legal profession into a ditch, adding that, legal education in the country was at the “crossroads.”

In this regard, he wants proper scrutiny done to ensure that all the institutions, including the University of Ghana, re-looked at legal education with all the fitting requirements, so as to produce quality law practitioners.

According to the associate Professor of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, the schools appeared in structure but were offering no better tuition in law; a situation he said, was dangerous for the country.

Appearing before Parliament’s Appointment Committee in Accra yesterday, Professor Kotey said, if care was not taken, Ghana, known for producing astute lawyers could run out of stock of that pride.

Giving reasons for his proposals, he said as part of a panel to interview LLB holders who were seeking to do their Masters in Law at the University of Ghana, majority of the applicants could not tell the panel the requirements of a valid contract.

“I think legal education in Ghana is at the cross roads. There are people with law degrees who could not tell me the requirements of a valid contract. People could not tell me what a lease is and others could not discuss a single case in constitutional law.

“When I asked about the December 31 case, somebody said it was the 31st December Women’s Movement” he said to loud laughs from the committee members.

“I think the problems that we are confronting is a very very serious one. Legal education requires the root before the branch,” he added.

He said when some of the applicants were given the option to come out with a case of constitutional law to be discussed, they could not mention a single one.

Describing his experience on that panel as one which exposes Ghana to serious legal problems, Prof. Kotey said legal education needs rethink from accreditation to training.

He questioned the capacity of the many institutions offering law programmes saying “if care is not taken, we will be churning out lawyers who don’t know any law.”

Asked if he would present a paper to the Chief Justice for consideration, Prof. Kotey said he would consider it if given approval as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

Speaking on corruption, Prof. Kotey said he was ready to assist in the fight against the canker.

To him, there should be no need glossing over the fight against corruption because it is just a matter of applying the laws backed by evidence. – Ghanaian Times



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