The Rector of MountCrest University College, Mrs. Irene Ansa-Asare Horsham has charged law students to learn to be bold and assertive as they prepare to become legal practitioners because Ghana needs law graduates who can speak truth to power and uphold Ghana’s motto, ‘Freedom and Justice’.
Referring to the words of the venerable English Judge, Lord Denning, the Rector pointed out that there are two types of law graduates that enter society, “Bold Spirits and Timorous Souls”. She, therefore, urged law schools to eschew teaching and learning methods that breed “timorous souls”.
She made this statement at the 11th matriculation ceremony of the MountCrest University College which was held virtually on May 29 to admit the 2021 (A) cohorts of law students.
The Rector, who is also a law lecturer, indicated that MountCrest prides itself in training graduates who will become the bold spirits that will speak truth to power and uphold Ghana’s motto; Freedom and Justice and“At MountCrest, we eschew teaching and learning methods that breed timorous souls”.
“We encourage critical thinking. We encourage dissent. We encourage tolerance for opposing beliefs. We encourage togetherness despite our differences. We actively promote diversity, equality, and inclusion and we manifest all these in our teaching and learning methods,” she stated.
she further recognized that legal Education is indeed special because of its distinctiveness which is underlined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, specifically in Articles 125(1) and 88(1) yet she did not agree that legal education should hold an elevated status.
“Article 125(1): Justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary which shall be independent and subject only to this Constitution. Article 88(1): There shall be an Attorney-General of Ghana who shall be a Minister of State and the principal legal adviser to the Government,” Mrs. Horsham quoted.
The Rector noted that the role of the Judiciary in the administration of justice and that of the Attorney-General in being the legal advisor to government, cannot be performed by anyone other than persons who are qualified as lawyers, as far as Ghana’s Constitution is concerned.
“That is what makes legal education so special in the development of our young democracy. Unlike other roles in government, people not trained in law are not permitted by the Constitution to perform the roles of the Judiciary and the Attorney General because they simply cannot,” she stressed.
She observed that this restriction does not arise elsewhere. For example, she said, the Minister of Health need not be a doctor; the Finance Minister need not have a professional qualification in finance, Parliamentarians need not hold university degrees, even the President of the Republic, technically, need not have an academic qualification beyond functional literacy.