NDC MPs want Godfred Dame fired over law school saga
The Minority in Parliament has presented a memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament seeking to pass a vote of no confidence against Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame for failing to implement a resolution of Parliament to admit 499 law students.
The memorandum reads: “That this Honorable House adopt a vote of no confidence against the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, in respect of the following conduct: Refusal, without cause, to implement the resolution of this Honorable House adopted unanimously on October 29, which the General Legal Council admits to the Ghana School of Law 499 students who have passed and passed the entrance examination of the Ghana School of Law for the legal year 2021/22. In accordance with its own published ground rules, To attack the image and integrity of this honorable Chamber by unworthy statements by the holder of the office of Attorney General and Minister of Justice of this Republic.
It comes after opposition lawmakers said the attorney general failed to abide by the resolution they passed for law students with a passing score of 50% on entrance exams to be admitted. at the law school.
Mr Dame had told Parliament that the resolution they had adopted was not binding.
The GA indicated that Parliament lacks the power, through the use of parliamentary resolutions, to control the admission process to the Ghana School of Law.
On Friday, October 29, the House ruled that all LLB students with a passing score of 50 percent on the law entrance exams should be admitted. The unanimous decision was taken by voice votes in Parliament.
But in a response, the GA said: “With respect, I am aware of a resolution adopted by Parliament at its sitting on Friday, October 29, 2021, which reads: … The General Legal Council is hereby charged to proceed and admit all students who have passed according to the advertised examination rules. The Attorney General is the head of the Ghana Bar and is responsible for ensuring that the directive that 499 students with 50 points are admitted is followed .
“We don’t want to get into contempt of Parliament issues. While acknowledging the general legislative powers of Parliament in Ghana, except those which have been circumscribed by the Constitution, I am compelled to point out that Parliament is devoid of power through the use of parliamentary resolutions, to control the process. for admission to the Ghana School of Law.
“The mode of exercise of legislative power enshrined in article 106 of the Constitution does not admit of resolutions.
“In accordance with Article 13 (1) (e) and (f) of the Law on the Profession of Lawyer, 1960 (Law 32), the power to regulate the admission of students to take courses leading to the qualification lawyer and to pass examinations which may include preliminary, intermediate and final examinations has been entrusted to the General Legal Counsel.
“It is true that article 1 (5) of law 32 stipulates as follows:” The Council, in the exercise of its functions, conforms to the general directives given by the Minister “.
“In my humble opinion, this provision emphasizes the capacity of the executive, not the legislature, through the minister responsible for the General Legal Council, i.e. the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, to direct and advise the Council on major national issues. importance.
“In this regard, it is relevant to indicate that by a letter dated October 18, 2021 received at my office on October 21 *, 2021, His Excellency the President transmitted to me the contents of a petition of the” 499 candidates “for my comments in order to allow him to respond. Another petition dated October 20, 2021 from the National Association of Law Students has also been submitted.
to the President.
“Upon submission of my comments on the issues raised in both petitions and further consultation with myself, by letter dated October 26, 2021 (three clear days before Parliament’s resolution), received at my office on October 27, 2021, the President asked me, in accordance with article 1 (5) of law 32,… to make the necessary intervention with the General Legal Council, on behalf of the 499 students, to deal with the issue…
“Within the limits of the law, I follow up on the President’s directive to make the necessary interventions on behalf of the ‘499 students’ Anyway, it is imperative to correct some erroneous impressions contained in the Parliamentary Resolution of 29 October 2021. The Daily Graphic notice of May 14, 2021 inviting applications from suitably qualified Ghanaians for admission to the Ghana School of Law did not indicate a pass mark of fifty percent (50%) or no mark at all as a basis for admission. The notice stated that applicants could be admitted if they had passed the entrance exam organized by the GLC.
“The notice also did not indicate how a pass mark set by the GLC would be determined. It is therefore clear that the assertion that the “initially announced” or “announced” pass mark was “50%” is wrong and untenable.
For any question close to a ‘pass mark’, the Daily Graphic notice stated the following:
“E. ADMISSION PROCEDURE
The admission procedure is as follows:
(i) The General Legal Council determines the number of candidates admitted to the Professional Law Course for the academic year.
(ii) Candidates may be admitted if they have passed the written examinations organized by the General Legal Council for the
Academic year 2021/2022, upon payment of the required fees and submission of the application form and all required supporting documents online.
On the same issue, the executive director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh also said the resolution was not binding.
Professor Prempeh, who is also a Ghanaian lawyer, explained on key points on TV3 / 3FM on Saturday, October 30, with host Dzifa Bampoh, that Parliament is making a number of resolutions, some of which are binding and others. no.
The one directed to the GLC and law school, he said, fell into the latter category.
Professor Prempeh said: “I am delighted to see Parliament really weigh in on this issue. This is a long drawn out battle and I think it is good that the political class expresses itself in this way.
“Parliament makes decisions in several ways. They can pass a bill, if it is signed, it becomes an act of Parliament. It also works by passing resolutions. Some resolutions are binding, others are not.
“This is one of the resolutions in the latter category, it is not binding. But, it records the collective disapproval of Parliament of the way and the manner in which a statutory body like the GLC has dealt with this issue of access to legal education.
During the debate on the Huse floor on Friday, October 29, Asawase MP Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak told the GLS and the law school that studying law in Ghana is not limited to the privileged few.
He said that all Ghanaians are allowed to pursue legal studies and education in general.
He said: “I know there are a lot of institutions in this country that are very conservative, but with the kind of problem that we have as a country, you cannot give a conservative stance and an expert for progress. This idea, with the greatest respect for the former chief justice, is that we will not let anyone become a lawyer. Who is anybody? Every Ghanaian counts just like your son and daughters.
“It is not the sons of lawyers and doctors or politicians or influential people who have the sole right to access any profession in this country. If they don’t know, we have to tell them that they have to go admit all those who have passed before the start of the next school year.
Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said the GLC and the Ghana School of Law would act in bad faith if they disregard the resolution passed by Parliament for all LLB students who achieved the grade of 50 percent pass to be admitted into the school law.
“We tell Ghana Law School that they continuously frustrate students, that they make studying law unattractive. I know the post-call students that they had started courses, they started last week but for professional law, they start next week, ”he said on the floor of the House.
“It is not too late to admit them because they have passed,” he added.
In a subsequent interview with TV3’s Komla Klutse, Mr. Afenyo-Markin said: “For anyone who would think he can exercise discretion to disregard our directive, I will say it would be in bad faith that he did not. does not comply with this directive from Parliament.
“We have a responsibility and we are only repeating what they themselves have said publicly. That is why we added that yes, the learned attorney general responsible for oversight should ensure that they comply with the resolution passed by Parliament.
“If a legally recognized body refuses a resolution of parliament, then I think that body doesn’t believe in the rule of law and I don’t think that’s what the General Legal Council and the Faculty of Law will do. Ghana. It is headed by the Chief Justice and we believe that as President he will take this in good faith and take swift action to address this issue.
“I don’t want to get into the issue of outrage, if if they fail we will have to take another step. We know the constitution is clear on disrespecting parliamentary orders, but I don’t think we’ll get there.
This development came at a time when the Human Rights Division of the High Court in Accra adjourned the case brought before it by some “failed” LLB students against the General Legal Council (GLC) and the Attorney General. (AG).
On Friday, October 29, the court chaired by Judge Nicholas Mensah Abodakpi adjourned the case to November 9 after the attorney general requested a brief adjournment to file certain proceedings.
“With the consent of the parties and their lawyers, this case would be adjourned to November 9, 2021,” the judge would have said.
The students ask that the court “further prevent the respondents from treating the plaintiffs as students who failed the said exams pending the final examination of this case for the reasons stated and any new orders that the court may deem appropriate.”
They also want a declaration that the failure of the 2nd defendant (the Attorney General) to rule over the 1st defendant for the conduct of the 1st defendant as stated constitutes a breach of the duties of the 2nd defendant under Law 32.