Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday March 14, 2018
The National Accreditation Board (NAB) has rejected the claim that it is ‘usurping’ the functions of the General Legal Council (GLC) - which regulates the conduct and administration of legal education and profession in Ghana.
Executive Secretary of the NAB, Kwame Dattey, told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that the board rather works in collaboration with the GLC to ensure that the standards set for legal education in the country are not compromised.
He rebutted the claim saying, “We have not usurped their functions.”
Last month, a heated debate ensued over quality of legal education when about 80% of students who sat for the final examination of the Ghana School of Law in May 2017 reportedly failed.
Following the abysmal performance, many legal experts, including veteran legal practitioner Sam Okudzeto, shared their opinions on a wide range of issues regarding legal education, especially the mushrooming of law faculties across the country.
“The revered Sam Okudzeto said on Joy FM recently that the NAB has usurped the functions of the General Legal Council. He said that all these things have come about because NAB has usurped the functions of the General Legal Council, but we humbly hold that cannot be true,” the NAB executive secretary reacted.
He said before a law faculty is established by any accredited tertiary institution, the NAB works in conjunction with legal experts provided by the GLC, to do an assessment based on which the green light is given for the faculty to start its programmes.
“At any rate, when they are going to assess faculties of law, we will not have all the expertise within the NAB itself so we rely heavily on the GLC. We write to them to give us experts and they consistently give us a list of people we should rely on,” he explained.
“Prof. Justice S.K. Date-Bah for instance, has served us so well. Dr. Adinkra, the former Director of the Law School; Mr. George Sarpong, a former Director of the school, most of them served on our panels.”
The GLC is a professional body. The NAB only accredits universities and it is within the universities that faculties of law are established and operate. It is not the NAB that passed its own laws. It was parliament that did and parliament says we should do certain things which we are complying with and therefore, it cannot be said that we are usurping the powers of the council,” Mr. Dattey underscored.
He said the NAB has always enquired about professional aspects of law training by institutions applying to run law programmes; and the response has been generally that those students are not being trained for the courts.
The executive secretary claimed, “Indeed, some of the universities when they come and we ask them about professional aspects, they will tell you we are not training them to go and practise in the courts. Some people can become solicitors when they complete and graduate with LLB.
“And so, it cannot be that we have usurped the functions of the GLC. We work in collaboration and in conjunction with the council in the accreditation of these things.
“If the experts say this university has everything it takes, they have the law volumes, the lecturers. How can NAB say accreditation is denied because the students may not get admission into the Law School in Makola?”