Practicing law is not a privilege, it’s a constitutional right — Xavier Sosu replies Godfred Dame’s comment
Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has disagreed with the Attorney General, Godfred Dame’s assertion that practicing law is a privilege and not a right.
In a tweet, Mr. Sosu who is a human rights lawyer said, “Law School is not a privilege, it is a constitutional right for every qualified Ghanaian.”
“Articles 37 and 38 of our Constitution require the State to provide adequate educational facilities to guarantee equal access and opportunities to “lifelong education” without limits,” he argued further.
Mr. Dame’s comments stressed the need for lawyers to uphold ethical standards in the legal profession.
“Along with it comes a moral obligation and a legal duty to uphold the dignity of the profession to ensure that the privileged call to the bar is not abused through unprincipled and disreputable conduct,” he said at the induction ceremony of new executives of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) earlier this week.
Mr. Sosu and the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, are working on getting the Legislative drafting department of Parliament to put together a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 32.
The bill will, among other things, seek to amend Act 32 to exclude the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court from the General Legal Council and redefine its functions.
The General Legal Council has been under fire for its handling of School of Law entrance exams.
In the most recent entrance exam, 790 out of 2,824 candidates passed, representing 28 percent.
A further 499 students are fighting to be admitted after they meet the pass mark of the entrance exam despite failing one of the exam sections.
The pass rate is in line with previous years, except for 2020, where 1,045 students out of 2,763 passed the entrance examination.
In 2019, only 128 candidates out of a total of 1,820 passed the exam.
In 2017, 500 students were admitted into the School, with 450 students admitted in 2016.
The pass rate has in the past sparked calls for a reform of legal education in Ghana.