Story: Musah Yahaya Jafaru & Zainabu Issah
THE Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has called for collaboration towards reforming the country’s legal education for the collective interest of justice delivery, the legal profession and academia.
She said programmes in Law schools should challenge lawyers to think outside the box of legal scholarship and assist the country to address the problems confronting society.
Mrs Justice Wood made the call at the matriculation of pioneer students of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School and dedication of the school’s building on Monday.
Seventy-two students from Parliament, the Judicial Service, the Education Service, media, the security services, the health, banking, finance, insurance and hospitality sectors have been admitted to pursue the three-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree programme.
Mrs Justice Wood said legal education reform in Ghana was at the crossroad, hence the need for all stakeholders in legal education “to start thinking, talking and engaging one another in reforming legal education” for the good of the Judiciary and the nation at large.
“The country needs lawyers in administration, management and governance within both the public and private sectors as it strives to strengthen its democratic institutions,” she said.
The Chief Justice expressed joy at the wide sector distribution of the students and stressed the need for quality legal professionals tailored to suit the management needs of the country.
She said since GIMPA was noted for excellence, its Law School should equally be characterised by good programmes that would challenge the students to think outside the box and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
Mrs Justice Wood welcomed the decision of the GIMPA Law School to introduce paralegal training, stressing that it would assist in training professionals who needed basic knowledge of law for their day-to-day operations at their workplaces.
“An institution like the Judicial Service, which requires a large workforce of court clerks, docket clerks, interpreters, public and private bailiffs, certainly stands to be the ultimate beneficiary of this laudable initiative,” she said.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of GIMPA, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, urged the first batch of Law students to take their studies seriously, since they were the pioneers of the school and would be expected to set the standard for high academic performance.
She also encouraged the management of the school to source for funds and expand the school to make room for the many qualified candidates who were yearning for quality legal education to have a place in the school.
The Rector of GIMPA, Professor Yaw Agyeman Badu, said the first batch of GIMPA Law School students did not include medical officers, traditional rulers, farmers, market women and fishermen but there was room for all those groups.
The Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Prof Kwame Frimpong, charged the students not to limit their scope to what pertained in the school but rather tap all the experiences in the school.
A representative of the students, Mr Kingsford Arthur, urged the school authorities not to make it a requirement for the students who benefited from the three-year course at the GIMPA Law School to pursue an additional two-year professional legal training at the Ghana School of Law.
That, he said, was because many of the students were experienced in their various fields of endeavour and the world was witnessing significant changes.
PUBLISHED IN DAILY GRAPHIC ON 11TH AUGUST 2010