Law School 2022 Entrance Exams: IEC-GLC reviews format, minimum threshold mark withheld

The IEC-GLC announced that the exam will take place on Friday, 23 September 2022, at a location that would be disclosed later

The Independent Examinations Committee (IEC), of the General Legal Council (GLC), the statutory body mandated to ensure proper standards in legal education and the legal profession, has reviewed the format for the 2022/2023 entrance examination for admission to the professional law course of the Ghana School of Law.

In an advert published in the 18 July 2022 edition of the Daily Graphic, the IEC-GLC said, “The examination will be 90 minutes and the paper will comprise two compulsory questions chosen from the six basic subjects required prior to admission to the Ghana School of Law; Law of Contract, Law of Tort, Criminal Law, Law of Immovable Property, Constitutional Law and Legal Systems & Methods.”

“The admission process is as follows;

(i) The General Legal Council determines the number of candidates to be admitted to the Professional Law Course for the academic year.

(ii) Applicants may be granted admission if they have passed the written examination organized by the Independent Examinations Committee for the 2022/2023 Academic Year admission, upon payment of the required fee and submission of the application form and all supporting documents required online.

(iii) Eligible Applicants who attain the minimum threshold mark set by the General Legal Council for this particular year will be offered admission for the 2022/2023 Academic Year to pursue the Professional Law Course,” the IEC-GLC publication further read.

New rules

This is however, a clear departure from the 2021/2022 entrance examination for admission to the professional law course of the Ghana School of Law requirement.

Last year, the examination was in two parts, the first part comprised of 20 multiple choice questions (for 40 marks) and the second part which had two compulsory questions (for 30 marks each).

With the new format of two compulsory questions for the 2022/2023 entrance examinations, students will only know what marks are to be obtained when they take the 1 hour, 30 minutes’ paper in September. One can only assume a 50-50 mark split between the two questions.

On the minimum threshold mark set by the General Legal Council, which was the basis of the controversy surrounding last year’s admissions into the Ghana School of Law, the IEC-GLC, decided just like last year, not to put a definite figure up in their publication, but to leave it to their (IEC-GLC’s) discretion.

Some students spoke to Asaase News to express their displeasure of the IEC-GLC reviews format:

Aggrieved 499 students

A total of 790 students (28%) out of the 2,824 who sat the 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance examination passed, official figures released by the law school in October 2021 showed.

The figure represents a 10% drop from the total number of LLB candidates who passed the previous year, 2020; a total of 1,045 out of 2,763 students. However, in 2019, only 128 candidates out of 1,820 succeeded.

Some 499 aggrieved students who sat for the 2021 examination and obtained 50% and above, accused the GLC for their inability to gain admission following a new quota system introduced after the law school entrance examination had taken place and the results had been released.

The new requirement was that candidates had to score at least 50% in both sections of law school entrance exams to be eligible for entry into the Ghana School of Law.

According to the affected students, the new rule was unknown to them before, during and after the exams and that it was unfair for the GLC to introduce new rules after the fact.

State intervention

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, in a four-paged letter addressed to the Chairman of the General Legal Council on 11 November 2021, advised the General Legal Council (GLC), to offer admission to all 499 students who were refused admission into the Ghana School of Law for the 2021/2022 academic year.

The Attorney General highlighted what he said then to be the perception of “a lack of transparency and doubts about the integrity of the admission processes into the Ghana School of Law, created by the manner in which the admission processes were handled by the GLC in 2021, as well as the enormous public interest generated thereby.”

“These circumstances, in my respectful view, warrant a reconsideration of the decision not to admit the 499 candidates. I am aware that arrangements have been put in place already for commencement of the first year professional law course by candidates deemed to have passed the entrance examination for the 2021/2022 academic year,” the Attorney General’s letter read.

AG recommendation

The Attorney General had indicated in his letter to the GLC that in view of the observations he had made in his letter and pursuant to Section 1(5) of Act 32, advised the GLC to “grant deferred admission to the 499 candidates with effect from May, 2022”.

“A special provision can be made for the first year professional law course by candidates already admitted to run from October, 2021 to April, 2022.

The 499 candidates may undertake their programme from May, 2022 and ending in November, 2023. Arrangements will have to be put in place for the two sets of candidates to undertake their pupilage and be called to the Bar at a common date in the next two years,” the AG had recommended concerning his first proposal.

Alternatively, the Attorney General had suggested to the GLC to “grant admission to the entire 499 candidates with effect from November, 2021 and provision made for the organization of classes in a way as to be able to cater for the needs of the entire candidates of the Part One Course of Professional Law Programme”.

The third recommendation of the Attorney General to the GLC was for it to “organize a special examination in November, 2021 to accord to the 419 candidates an opportunity to justify admission into the Law School for the 2021/2022 academic year. Such examination may be on ‘essay questions’ which properly assess the ability of candidates to reason legally and resolve practical problems”.

Future GLC Exams

Godfred Dame had ended his letter by advising that in the GLC’s future notices inviting applicants to register for the entrance examination for the 2022/2023 academic year, “the basis for a determination of successful candidates be clearly spelt out, in order to avoid a reoccurrence of the situation experienced this year.”

Wilberforce Asare

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