The Vice-Chancellor of Central University, Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu, is proposing a system where aspiring lawyers will undergo training, examination and licensing as a means of ensuring not only access but quality.
His comment comes at a time when the nation is hosting an international conference on the future of legal education in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo, at the opening of the conference, noted that he had “asked the Attorney General to fast-track the balance of consultations on the Legal Profession Bill, and lay it before Cabinet and, ultimately, parliament, as soon as possible for enactment”.
The Bill is expected to address comprehensively, the issues of legal education in Ghana, to dispel the notion that the legal profession is a guild, a small club of mostly men, which is difficult to penetrate.
However, addressing the 20th Congregation of Central University, Professor Puplampu said in order to expand access to raise competent lawyers, it would be essential to resort to a training, examination and licensure regime.
He said: “Legal education is a big trending issue these days…let me add my voice. Beyond the hot issues of access and pass rates to the Ghana Law School, there are larger debates around content, quality of lawyerly services and attention to the underserved regions of our country.”
“Let us de-weaponise the issue and move toward a training, examination, licensure structure that allows the aspiring people, young or old, to acquire the needed skills to become competent barristers and solicitors”.
“Let us remove the narrative that appears to suggest that it is an affront to the learned profession to have many people enter it”.
“We need more, not fewer lawyers. However, we need fewer incompetent lawyers and more able lawyers”, he added.
Prof Puplampu also urged the government to consider a competitive grant process for private universities running courses in environmental sciences to support interventions in the area of plastic waste pollution and environmental hazards.
He said: “COP 26 has just taken place in Glasgow. Climate Change and global warming are real threats to humanity. For us in Ghana, our proximate challenges really are dealing with plastic waste, safe trash disposal, pollution of water bodies and deforestation. I would like to urge the government to consider a competitive grant process targeted at private universities which run programs in the sciences and in environmental areas, where we bid for grants to support our programs in this area and to support interventions in our communities where we operate.”
Central University, he disclosed, has received accreditation to run an 18-month MBA for a number of programmes instead of the current 24-month duration.
According to him, these are designed to tackle the human resource needs of the country.
Prof Puplampu urged the graduating class at the 20th Congregation comprising the Central Business School, the Law Faculty and the Arts and Social Sciences, to let patience, ethical and God-fearing commitment guide their professions as true ambassadors of the university.
For his part, the Chancellor of Central University, Rev. Dr Mensa Otabil, urged the graduating class to use their degrees to impact their communities, the country and the world positively.
Out of a total of 146 graduates from the Central Business School, nine bagged First Class, 61 2nd Class Upper, 44 2nd Class Lower, 26 3rd Class and 6 walked with passes.
From the faculty of Law, four graduates secured 1st Class, 115 2nd Class Upper, 118 2nd Class Lower, 32 Third Class and nine passes.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences also graduated 22 1st Class Students, 52 2nd Class Upper, 40 2nd Class Lower, 16 Third Class with two passes.