A legal action challenging the status of the Ghana School of Law (GSL) as the only institution mandated to offer professional law programme has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The plaintiff, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, a law lecturer, went to the apex court with a case that it was unconstitutional for the GSL to be made the sole provider of professional law programme in the country
The action was against the Attorney-General and the General Legal Council
However, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, (July 28, 2020), a seven-member panel of the court held that the plaintiff failed to properly invoke the court’s jurisdiction to interpret and enforce the 1992 Constitution.
According to the court, while some of the reliefs sought by Professor Asare were not properly before the court, others raised no issue of interpretation or enforcement of a constitutional provision.
The court did not read the full reasons for dismissing the case but indicated that it would be filed at the registry of the court.
The seven-member panel was presided over by Justice Sule Gbadegbe, with Justices Yaw Appau, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Agnes M. Dordzie, Nene Amegatcher, Professor Nii Ashie Kotey and Mariama Owusu as the members.
It was the case of the plaintiff that the law which makes the GSL the sole institution to run the professional law programme was unconstitutional because it contravenes Article 25 (2) of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 25 (2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that “every person shall have the right, at his own expense, to establish and maintain a private school or schools at all levels and of such categories and in accordance with such conditions as may be provided by law.
Prof Asare contends that the monopoly given to the GSL was a sin against Article 25 (2) which gives people the right to establish schools “in accordance with the law.”
“This is not to say that anyone can be an education provider. Rather, this means that the government can regulate and set the conditions that must be met before schools can be set up. Such regulations are undoubtedly necessary to assure quality,” he contended.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiff wanted a declaration that the current monopoly enjoyed by the GSL was unconstitutional and also an order directed at the General Legal Council to make regulations that would allow private institutions to provide professional law courses.