Deputy AG Mrs Diana Asonaba Dapaah launching the school of Law with the Chair of the University Council Mr. Kwaku Paintsil

Mrs. Diana Asonaba Dapaa, the Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, has launched the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) School of Law to bring legal education and training closer to northern Ghana.

A total of 105 students had been enrolled to begin a four-year and a three-year law studies programme at the school.
Speaking on the theme, “Access to Legal Education, a Joint Responsibility, getting it Right” during a ceremony at the SDD-UBIDS to launch the Law School, Mrs. Dapaa called on the school authorities to maintain the highest quality of training.

She stressed that establishing the law school would undoubtedly bring legal education close to the people of the Northern sector who had had none in the area since the first School of Law in Ghana was established in the country in the 60s.

“This will bring legal services to the doorstep of the underserved part of the society and also reduce the concentration of lawyers in the cities and make legal services easily available to the people of the Northern part of Ghana”, the Deputy Attorney General added.

Mrs. Dapaah stated that a new legal profession bill was being prepared because of the changing trends in society, which sought to amend and consolidate the law relating to the legal profession.

She explained that the new bill would provide the legislative framework that recognised and licensed Universities to open law faculties and to sanitize the mass production of law graduates by ensuring standardisation in the monitoring of those institutions to see to their optimum performance.

She said the SDD-UBIDS law school had the privilege of collaborating with other law schools and private law faculties in the country and therefore had no reason to fail saying, “You should escape the challenges of the earlier faculties that were started in the country.”

She expressed concerns about the decline of the standards of lawyers that were produced from the law schools and said the dispensation of justice was crucial in society and charged stakeholders of the legal fraternity to be as good as the lawyers they trained.

“The university must be mindful of the student /lecturer ratio to ensure the quality of teaching is not compromised for students to get full tuition including seminars, tutorials, lectures, and libraries, extra-curricular activities so students don’t easily memorize and regurgitate principles”, she said.

Professor Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) law school who spoke on the Perspective of the law programme, said the establishment of the school of law signified an important development in the Northern part of Ghana`s legal education as it would help to give legal literacy to the rural parts of society and reduce the gap in legal training in Ghana.

He said the university was the foundation of lawyers in Northern Ghana and urged the management of the school to pay attention to the rule of law to “lay the foundation right so tomorrow, you will be on the right side of history.”
Professor Philip Duku Osei, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said they had learnt from the law schools that are already established and would draw from the experience of the GIMPA, which they were collaborating with on faculty and course exchange programmes “to begin our journey by running instead of crawling.”

He assured all that the school had gathered a team of lecturers and provided the right environment for smooth academic work to flourish.

He said the government was aware of the vast developmental needs of Northern Ghana hence the establishment of the SDD-UBIDS to provide education and the developmental needs of the people.

He, however, appealed to the government for the completion of the critical infrastructural projects of the school including the modern library, and the main auditorium among others.

Prof. Osei told the students that there was so much to learn and acquire and that they would not regret choosing the SDD-UBIDS as their first choice.

Mr Kweku Yamoah Paintsil, the Chairman of the University Council, congratulated the graduates and asked them to do their best not to put their chosen profession into disrepute and to put the knowledge gained to the benefit of society.

The vision of the SDD-UBIDS is to be an internationally acclaimed center of excellence in higher education.

Source: GNA

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