Chief Justice wants financial autonomy for Ghana School of Law

Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, on Friday called for a debate by stakeholders in the legal profession to consider weaning off the Ghana School of Law financially from the Central Government.

She noted that funding for the school emanated from Government solely and “It is time this tradition changed.”

Mrs Wood made the call when inaugurating the Ghana School of Law Alumni Association, at the school’s premises in Accra.

It marked the beginning of the alumni’s quest to bring all of them close to school as had been in many common law jurisdictions, and to place the Ghana Bar Association in a better position to bring its influence to bear on professional legal education in Ghana.

The occasion was also used to outdoor a six member Interim Committee of the Alumni Association, and a donation of 409 books on Contract, Civil and Criminal Procedure, Intellectual and Patent Law was made to the school.

Ms Yvonne Fiadjoe and Nene Amegatche both lawyers contributed in acquiring the books.

Mrs Wood suggested that the Law School be allowed to follow the path of Ghana Institute of Management Public Administration (GIMPA), which had blazed the trial in financial autonomy in terms of professional education.

She noted that alumni were major stakeholders in education in countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada, and if past and present students wanted to attain the vision of the school as the foremost legal institution in sub-Saharan Africa, then it needed immense support from the alumni.

These countries, Mrs Wood said contributeted financially through their alumni in expanding their infrastructure.

She recalled that formation of the alumni was not only to make positive contribution towards the growth and development of school and enhance its influence in society; but it would provide a platfrom for professional and social networking among all.

Mrs Wood said she disagreed with those who lament of the training of many lawyers, pointing out that those concerns should be directed at quality and standards training and practices in the profession.

She said the nation needed lawyers not only in the traditional areas such as the Bar and the Bench but in district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies.

Mrs Wood said: “We also need strong legal departments in our security services and the ministries, departments and agencies.

“Such a move will lessen the burden on the already under-staffed Attorney-General’s Department. This great and promising nation can succeed in this direction with the support of all alumni of this great school”.

While tasking the interim committee members to work hard to leave a legacy for succeeding generation, Mrs Wood paid glowing tribute to Mr Bannerman Williams and Mr W.E. Offei, who were among the first batch of students called to the Bar when the school was established in March 1959.

Mr Martin A. B. K. Amidu, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, said it was time for the alumni to pay back what the school had offered them.

Mr George Sarpong, Director of Legal Education, Ghana School of Law, called for more collaboration between the School and alumni.

Ms Gloria Akuffo, a former Deputy Attorney -General and Minister of Justice, under the erstwhile NPP Government, who is a member of the Interim Committee, on behalf the group pledged to work hard and appealed to members of the alumni to support them with their expertise.

The Ghana School of Law since its establishment till December 31, 2011, has trained 5,156 persons on the roll of lawyers.

The School initially commenced with more than 600 students in 1958, but the number reduced to 97 as some failed the school’s first class examination while others abandoned the law course and out of the 97 students, only nine finally enrolled as lawyers.

Source: GNA

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