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GLC to admit only 800 students for 2022/2023; Constitutional and Legal Affairs C’ttee raises concern

The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has expressed concern about the plans of the General Legal Council (GLC) to admit only 800 students into Ghana School of Law in 2022/2023 academic year.

According to the Committee, the decision by GLC to conduct entrance examinations for 2,500 applicants and admit 800 students into the Ghana School of Law in 2022/2023 academic year irrespective of whether or not those who passed the entrance Examination exceed the quota” is unacceptable.

They have also raised similar concerns on the target of 700 students to be called to the Bar in 2022.

These concerns were contained in the report of the Committee on Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the annual Budget estimates of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice for the 2022 financial year.

The Committee considers “the deliberate limitations on admissions into the Ghana School of Law as unacceptable, especially in view of the fact of a deficit of legal professionals in the country”.

The Committee however, urged the General Legal Council to put in place innovative measures to accommodate applicants who may pass the entrance Examination to pursue professional legal education.

The Committee also entreated the General Legal Council to endeavour to call all eligible lawyers to the Bar.

On the budgetary allocations, the Committee observed that although “the allocation of GH¢195,539,000 for 2022 financial year represents 46% higher than the previous year’s allocation of (GH¢133,640,428), the amount falls short of the expected financial requirements of GH¢280,156,618 to effectively carry out the mandate of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice for the ensuing year”.

According to the Minister, as he appeared before, the Committee to consider the estimates, the shortfall will adversely affect planned programmes of activities such as recruitment of additional legal and administrative staff and retention of experienced Lawyers, provision of lecture halls to accommodate intake of more Professional Law Students, completion of the stalled Law House Project which is 70% complete, procurement of software to maintain e-register and data-base at the Registrar General Department and Special Operations by Economic and Organised Crime Office.

The Committee, acknowledging the peculiar financial situation of the country at the moment, recommended to the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice to prioritise its expenditure for the 2022 financial year towards the expansion of law school facilities to forestall recurrence of denying admission of qualified applicants into the Law School on grounds of limited facilities.

The Committee further recommended to the Ministry of Finance to prioritise resourcing of the Office of the Attorney-General and the General Legal Council in view of their critical role in safeguarding and protecting the rights and freedoms of the citizenry.

Accordingly, the House to adopt the report and approved the sum of One Hundred and Ninety-Five Million Five Hundred and Thirty-Nine Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢195,539,000) for the services of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice for the year ending 31st December 2022.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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