• Professor Adei says Parliament has no legitimacy to order GLC to admit students
• He says the situation is not good for the judiciary and the legislature
• He wants quick problem solving
Renowned Ghanaian academician and economist Professor Stephen Adei has criticized Parliament over its decision to order the Attorney General to compel the General Legal Council to admit some 499 law students who claim to have passed their exams but were unfairly denied admission to Ghanaian school. of the law.
Professor Adei argues that the Parliament of Ghana overstepped its bounds in making this order because it does not fall within its jurisdiction to determine admission to law school.
Calling the decision “hasty”, Professor Adei said on Asaase Radio on Sunday, November 7, 2021 that Parliament should have shown restraint and examined its powers before publishing the directive. ‘
He said the directive had put Parliament and the judiciary on a collision course that could end up in the Supreme Court.
He said, “I don’t think that until now there has been any indication that there was a certain standard that has been set and changed. This is not true… There is unnecessary hype in the sense that… Parliament has come to give directives; I think… they did wrong.
“They were in a bit of a hurry. Parliament is there to make laws. Parliament is not there to decide the criteria for admission to a university and I hope they [Parliament] and the attorney general can fix it and not make it worse. Because if they do, unfortunately the only thing is that they have to go to the Supreme Court to interpret whether the Constitution allows Parliament to do it, which they have to try to avoid, because if they don’t, it won’t be good for either institution.
“… I think it will be important for us to note that… more and more people want to do law, but at the moment our facilities are very limited. We need to look for a long-term solution, not a short-term one.
Professor Adei added, “I am not a lawyer, but my personal position is as follows; probably the General Legal Council should transform into an institution such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing or Accountancy, they only review and authorize other institutions that can train them [lawyers] of course, they have to make sure that those who train them have the required qualifications and experience because in this case it is not academic training… and then they will come to take the exam.
“For example, when people go to ACCA and 5,000 do it and only 50 are successful, no one has blamed them and I think in the long run there might be a need for more law schools.”
Did Parliament Order the GLC
Professor Adei’s criticism of Parliament was based on the idea that the resolution passed by Parliament was up to the GLC to admit students.
But Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, a member of Parliament’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, clarified that the subject of the resolution was the attorney general’s office which represents the executive at the GLC.
Reacting to a response from the Attorney General on the resolution, Dafeamekpor said, “’He had an emotional reaction. He said that in any case the president asked him to do what we ordered, but as a good statesman what he should have said was that we received the resolution from Parliament, but we also received a directive from the President to do so, so we want to assure Parliament that we will resolve the issue as the President requested and that we will come back to Parliament and inform the House. This is how you speak.
“His statement was in bad taste. We were not impressed with the tone of the letter. The Attorney-General forgot that under Section 103 Clause 3 we have the power to investigate the activities of departments and the like. The General Legal Council is not part of the judiciary, so we have the power to oversee their work. The law establishing the GLC is not like this. The GLC is a creation of Parliament.
“By law, we have given the Attorney General the power to give administrative and functional directives to the GLC and they are supposed to comply with it. The Attorney General is also accountable to Parliament. The resolution we adopted took place in two phases. The original has been forwarded to the GLC and a subsequent order to the Attorney General to ensure the directive is followed, ”he said.