The Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, says Parliament cannot direct the General Legal Council (GLC) on its admission processes by Resolution.

Parliament last week unanimously voted, directing the GLC to immediately admit the 499 students who passed but have been denied admission to the Ghana School of Law.

Parliament further directed the Attorney General to ensure that this resolution of Parliament is respected.

Attorney General Godfred Dame
Godfred Dame

But in a letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Dame argued that Parliament cannot use a Resolution to make such directions.

“Whilst recognising the general legislative powers of Parliament in Ghana, except as have been circumscribed by the Constitution, I am constrained to advise that Parliament is devoid of power through the use of Parliamentary resolutions, to control the process of admission into the Ghana School of Law.

“The mode of exercising legislative power enshrined in article 106 of the Constitution does not admit of resolutions,” he said.

The Attorney-General continued that it is instead the Executive that can lawfully make such directions to him. And noted that the President was already taking some actions on the matter.

“It is correct that section 1(5) of Act 32 stipulates thus: “The Council shall in the performance of their functions comply with any general directions given by the Minister.

“In my respectful opinion, this provision underscores the capacity of the Executive, not the Legislature, through the Minister responsible for the General Legal Council, i.e. the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, to direct and advise the Council on major matters of national importance.

“In this regard, it is pertinent to indicate that by a letter dated 18th October 2021 received at my office on 21st October 2021, His Excellency the President forwarded the contents of a petition by the ‘499 candidates’ to me for my comments in order to enable him to respond. Another petition dated 20 October 2021 by the National Association of Law Students was also delivered to the President.

“Upon delivery of my comments on the matters raised in both petitions and following further consultations with my good self, by a letter dated 26th October 2021 (three clear days before the resolution of Parliament), received at my office on 27th October 2021, the President directed me to, pursuant to section 1(5) of Act 32,… make the necessary intervention to the General Legal Council, on behalf of the 499 students, to address the issue,” the statement continued.