CJ petitioned again over suffering law students

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A United States-based Ghanaian professor, Kweku Asare has called on the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to let justice be served to the “suffering students of the Ghana School of Law”.

Professor Asare made this appeal in a letter addressed to the Chief Justice and copied to President Nana Akufo-Addo, Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, retired Supreme Court judge William Atuguba, the Director of the School of Law, Faculty of School of Law and the Deans of all Law Faculties, on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 following the release of the professional law examination results of the students of the school.

A total of 284 students who wrote the professional law examination in 2018 failed and will have to repeat the programme.

Only 64 students passed.

177 have been referred in various papers including Evidence; and Advocacy and Family law.

Prof Asare said he hoped the Chief Justice will use her position “to bring justice to the suffering students of the Ghana School of Law”.

In his view, “Parliament erred in legalising the IEC, which your Court described as alien to our laws, this error is being compounded in that subsequent to the passage of the LI, nobody has been made aware of the rules for the appointment of examiners, ensuring uniformity of marking scripts and the timing of the release of graded examinations. As such, the IEC operates on an ad hoc basis and takes action by fiat”.

Professor Asare, in his own capacity and on behalf of the students of the GSL, is demanding “an explanation of why there was an unusually long delay in releasing the results of examinations written as far back as June 2018.”

He said he has “reason to doubt the integrity, even the competence, of the examiners in setting questions and preparing marking schemes. Among others, the leakage of an entrance examination question last year and an illegal supplementary examination that was scheduled provide the basis for this allegation. This leakage and other practices, such as the delay described supra, has brought to the fore all the doubts that led me and others to oppose the legalisation of the IEC.”

He has, therefore, called for the immediate release of the examiners’ report and marking scheme for the June 2018 professional law examination and further called for the “setting up of a review board, comprising of members of the School of Law Faculty, to review the marking scheme and all the scripts”.

“The need for an immediate and total review of scripts is especially important because last year almost all students who had the money to pay for remarking were successful. I am aware of at least one student whose score went up from 37 to 73 upon regrading.”

“Alas, because an extortionate fee of GHS3,000 is required prior to re-grading, only students who can afford it take advantage of the re-grading process. With respect, where is the justice in students paying GHS3,000 for re-grading their exam?”, Professor Asare quizzed and further called for the immediate scrapping of what he described as “the obnoxious and unconscionable regrading fee to allow all who want remarking to do so.”

The US-based professor also believes that students of GSL are being pushed to the limit “with a series of unjust and archaic practices”, which, in his view, “will one day lead to an explosive situation.”

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