Mr Speaker, nobody is disputing the fact that for one to become a lawyer, he has to write the Bar examinations. I have just said that this Act that we have passed --
Before one becomes a medical doctor, after the training for the Medical and Dental Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmacy Council -- one has to write the exams to qualify as such.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that, the nature of examinations that are written today are not even well-known to those who write them. And I am sorry to say that if today, we have to even get our judges at the Superior Court to write such examinations, because of the way they are structured, it is possible we could have a practising judge fail. This is because when we have the General Certificate Ordinary Level (‘O' Level) and the General Certificate Advanced Level (‘A' Level) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), when we go to the (WAEC) website, there is a chief examiner's report; there is a syllabus and there is a marking scheme and something to guide anybody who wants to write the examinations. Can we say same of this examinations that they are asking people to write?
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, no.
Mr Speaker, what I am saying, which is very instructive is that, looking at our Constitution, article 107 (b) says and, with your permission, I quote:
“Parliament shall have no power to pass any law --
(b) which operates retrospectively to impose any limitations on or to adversely affect the personal rights and liberties of any person or to impose a burden, obligation
or liability on any person except in the case of a law enacted under articles 178 to 182 of this Constitution.”
Mr Speaker, when these students were going to do the LLB, it was not part of the requirements that when they finish the LLB, they would have to write some other examination. Today, we are going to promulgate a law that would take retrospective effect on somebody who has finished law school since 2012 and has been struggling to enter the Ghana Law School. When he was starting the Ghana legal education as a young prospective secondary school graduate, it was not part of his contract that he would be writing an examination. What do you say to this?
Mr Speaker, if we look at the rules of the House, specifically, Order 166, which the Subsidiary Legislation Committee used in working -- I would just quote 166 (3) (b) with your permission;
“whether it contains any matter which in the opinion of the Committee should more properly be dealt with in an Act of Parliament”.
Mr Speaker, nowhere in the current Act that we are talking about, that is Act 32, have they been given the power to set up an independent committee to look at examinations. The only committee that they have been asked to set up is a disciplinary committee. That is the only one.
Mr Speaker, now we have Regulations that we are setting up, giving them the mandate to set up an independent examination committee.
Mr Speaker, to set up a committee is a substantive issue that has to be in the Act. It should be in the Act. It does not find expression in the main Act, yet we are running to give them the liberty to be able to create this.
Mr Speaker, I would want to urge that they are claiming that they cannot do admissions if this does not pass because they need it as an interim measure.
Mr Speaker, admission is in September/ October. With the greatest respect, next week, the Bill would be laid and we have up to the end of March to deal with it. If we are not done in May, we could deal with it when we come back. In June and July, we could deal with it so that we would be able to set what we want the legal education in this country to be.
But Mr Speaker, let me say that in this House, when you wanted all of us to pick Special Assistants, I remember your words that the person must have a Master's degree, if not, the person should have a first degree -- first class or second class upper -- We said that some could have second class lower but you said no, we should not take people with second class lower.
Mr Speaker, of the LLB students that have passed and want to go and read law, there are first class students among them; there are second class upper students among them. So, if you say that if we do not give you this you do not have any basis, I disagree with that.
Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, I do not need my O'Level results anymore. I needed my O'Level results to do A'Level, so, the moment I complete ‘O' Level and I pass well and I get the ‘A'level, I do not need the ‘O'level --
2. 37 p. m.