The proliferation of law schools without adherence to requisite standards is a threat to legal education and the country’s democracy, the Chief Justice (CJ), Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has said.“Some of these schools essentially do not have full-time faculties, are lacking in library facilities and simply do not have the wherewithal to run a good law programme,’’ the CJ stated during a ceremony in Accra yesterday at which 46 new lawyers were called to the Bar.The newly qualified lawyers were taken through the legal undertaking by Mrs Justice Wood, who was presiding over her last lawyers’ enrolment ceremony as the CJ.
Currently, there are 12 institutions in the country that offer Bachelor of Law (LLB) programme, with the Ghana School of Law being the sole institute that offers a professional law programme.
The General Legal Council (GLC), the body mandated to regulate and oversee legal education in the country, in collaboration with the National Accreditation Board (NAB), has, however, commenced a process of evaluation and accreditation of faculties of law in the country.
The GLC, in a post on its website, indicated that the names of duly accredited schools in the country would be made public after the process.
Mrs Justice Wood said although the establishment of more law schools was commendable, it must be accompanied by better facilities and well-trained lecturers to ensure effective legal training.
“What this country needs are good lawyers, not just lawyers, for the sake of their production,’’ she added.
She attributed the proliferation of law schools in the country to economic consideration, adding that “the general thinking is that setting up and running a law school has become an economic proposition and entrepreneurs have seen in it an investment opportunity.”
Despite the efforts by the GLC and NAB to maintain standards in legal training in the country, the CJ stated that many owners of law schools failed to maintain standards after their initial accreditation.