Ghana school of law needs help
The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, on Monday appealed to government, corporate bodies and individuals to assist the Ghana School of Law, the only professional training institution of lawyers, with infrastructure to catch up with global changes in modern legal practice.
She said; "The sad truth is that after 50 years of existence, the school that trains and produces lawyers has not been able to realize its full potential, has not been able to catch up global changes in modern legal practice and in short is lagging behind other schools of repute."
Mrs Justice Wood said there could be no better time to tackle the problem than now and appealed to all who have passed through the school to help lift it up from the doldrums.
The Chief Justice made the appeal at the 49th Students Representative Council Law Week Celebration which is under the theme: "Fifty years of quality professional legal education: the changing phase of legal practice". The occasion also coincided with the school's Golden Jubilee, which would be launched later.
The School established in December 1958, by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President has so far trained and produced over 4,000 lawyers who are currently serving in both public and private organizations.
Mrs Justice Wood said one of the drawbacks of the School was the absence of an alumni associations and urged all past students to come together to form one.
The Chief Justice, who had also passed through the school, further urged the students to use their educational training to help build a just society.
She said it was not easy for freshly qualified lawyers who have sponsored their own education through the law school to donate their time to less privileged but pleaded with them to give a fraction to those who cannot afford their services.
Reminding the students of the need to build a culture of public spiritedness, the Chief Justice entreated them to let their lives be a model to the little contributions and sacrifices they could make to help compatriots who could not afford legal fees.
Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, former Speaker of Parliament, who chaired the function praised the school for the wonderful contribution it had made to the development of the country.
Pointing out the importance of the legal education the growth of the country, the Mr Ala Adjetey noted that without order the society would fail to exist.
Dr Kofi Oti Adinkrah, Acting Director of the School, regretted that, the School, over the past 50 years has not been able to expand its facilities citing the lack of space and infrastructure.
However, Dr Adinkrah said the despite the challenges facing the School it had been able to train Chief Justices, Attorney Generals, lawyers at the superior and lower Courts with some serving in both public and private organizations.
Dr Adinkrah said due to the higher professional standards set up by the school it was attracting students from United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, the Gambia, among others, but it had not been able to offer them admissions.
Mr Frank Davis, Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Ghana Bar Association, urged the students to uphold the tenets of the legal profession.
Mr Dominic Otchere, SRC President, Ghana School of Law said as part of activities marking the law week celebrations, students will go out on legal outreach in Akwapim South District with much emphasis on child rights.
Highlighting on the theme for the outreach programme dubbed: "The right of the child," Mr Otchere noted that, childhood in Ghana was under threat.
"On the outreach programme, parents will be prevailed upon to nurture their children into taking on the responsibilities of adulthood free from fear, safe from violence and protected from abuse and exploitation," he added.