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Insisting on quality legal education is for your own benefit, says former ICC judge

Her Ladyship Akua Kuenyehia, formerly of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, spoke to Nana Yaa Mensah about her work in the law and education and her efforts to secure women's rights

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  • “Insisting on quality legal education is for your own [students’] benefit. I know they don’t see it that way and that’s a pity because if you want to look at it rationally, why would you want a substandard education … if you are a lawyer in Ghana, you should be able to survive in any part of the world..."

Her Ladyship Akua Kuenyehia, a former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says it is important that the country does not sacrifice the quality of legal education for an expanded number of students.

She said she will always look at quality first as opposed to the expansion in the number of students admitted to study law in the country.

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on Sunday Night, she said, “I think I will go for quality first before quantity … Even though I’m all for giving everybody an opportunity to study law, my first priority is the quality of the education… I’ll not restrict access to legal education but I will advocate for improvement. We must have enough teachers so that we do not sacrifice quality. For me, that is the absolute bottom line.”

Kuenyehia said, “Many people want to do law. Every child now want to do law; I wouldn’t stop them. I think we have to work seriously going forward to make sure that we have enough teaching resources to go around the many faculties that we have, otherwise we are wasting the time of the child.”
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She said, “insisting on quality legal education is for your own [students’] benefit. I know they don’t see it that way and that’s a pity because if you want to look at it rationally, why would you want a substandard education … if you are a lawyer in Ghana, you should be able to survive in any part of the world…why would you want to be a lawyer here in Ghana and if you find yourself in the UK or Canada you find yourself unable to stand up with your colleague?”

“Sometimes when I go to court and I hear some lawyers, I cringe and I don’t regret not being a judge in Ghana…The legal profession has a certain standard and it’s important we keep that standard; it’s for the good of the lawyers themselves, it’s for the good of the country. Sometimes we want to bring things down for expediency, I don’t believe in that; call me elitist if you want to but I think we have to maintain a certain standard…” she added.

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