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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

General Legal Council on Law School Exams
By
Apr 17, 2014, 17:16
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The General Legal Council

2nd Floor, No. 7 Walpole Street, Freetown. generallegalcouncil@gmail.com

Press Release


WHEREAS
the General Legal Council is by virtue of the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act No. 15 of 2000 the governing body of lawyers in Sierra Leone inter alia tasked with the following:

a.the admission and enrolment of persons to practice law whether as  barristers or solicitors or both;

b. the admission to pupillage and the registration of pupils in the Temporary Register;

c.  the issuing of practicing certificates to legal practitioners;

d. the prescription of standards of professional conduct and code of etiquette for legal practitioners

 

AND WHEREAS the Council of Legal Education is the statutory body set up pursuant to the Council of Legal Education Act No. 1 of 1989 and inter alia tasked with the following:

a.  establishing and maintaining a School of Law to be known as the Sierra Leone Leone Law School;

b.  conducting or causing to be conducted professional and training courses and examinations;

c.   issuing a Certificate for Call to the Bar on the satisfactory completion by any person of the course of study and professional training at the Law School.

 

AND WHEREAS the Council of Legal Education certified 68 students as having passed the professional examinations prescribed by the Council of Legal Education for the 2012/13 academic year

 

AND Whereas following the said examinations and the Call to the Bar ceremony organized by the Council of Legal Education on the 13th November 2013 the General Legal Council was apprised of the Petition dated the 11th November 2013 filed by eight aggrieved students against the Sierra Leone Law School examination results of the 2012/13 Academic year.

 

AND whereas General Legal Council at its meeting held on the 10th December 2013 discussed the said Petition and resolved that the General Legal Council would proceed with the temporary registration of students that graduated from the Law School in the 2012/13 academic year irrespective of the apparent seriousness and the enormity of the complaints contained in the said Petition with the following caveat:

a. that the prescribed temporary certificate that should be following the said registration shall not be issued to the said students until the said Petition is disposed of; and

b. that anyone found wanting by the Committee set up to investigate the said Petition would summarily deleted from the temporary register.

AND WHEREAS by a public notice dated the 13th December 2013 the Council of Legal Education published that an Investigation Committee had been set up to look into the said complaint:

 

AND WHEREAS by letter dated the 7th April 2014 the Council of Legal Education communicated to the General Legal Council that the Investigating Committee had concluded its findings and that the Council of Legal Education notified the General Legal Council that certain students who were called to the Bar on the 13th November 2013 numbering 53 were incorrectly Called to the Bar:

 

AND WHEREAS the temporary registration of Law School students in the 2012/13 class that were called to the Bar were conducted by the General Legal Council on the 11th December 2013 and the 13th March 2014:


AND WHEREAS at the said ceremonies the General Legal Council admonished the prospective pupil barristers of the work of the Investigation Committee and intimated them that any adverse findings of the Investigating Committee in respect of any of the said pupil barristers will result in the automatic deletion of the names of the affected persons from the Temporary Register and that practicing certificates would not be issued to any of the said pupil barristers until the conclusion of the work of the Investigating Committee:

 

AND WHEREAS the Legal Practitioners Act provides as follows:

Section 10 thereof:A person qualifies for admission as a legal practitioner if-

a. he is-

(i)the holder of a degree in law awarded by the University of Sierra Leone and of such level as the Council of Legal Education may prescribe; or

(ii) .

(iii) .

b.he has passed the appropriate professional examinations conducted by the Council of Legal Education...

 

Section 21 thereof:

  That practising or acting as a legal practitioner without previously being qualified; or

  That wilfully pretending to be, by employing or taking or using any name, title, addition or description which implies that you are duly qualified to practice or to act as a legal practitioner you are recognized by law as so qualified;is an offence for which the penalty is a fine not exceeding one million Leones or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both fine and imprisonment.

 

AND WHEREAS the General Legal Council held a meeting on the 9th April 2014 to discuss the Council of Legal Educations decision on the Investigating Committees report in particular the decision to withdraw the results of the 53 students who were incorrectly Called to the Bar on the 13th November 2013:

 

The General Legal Council hereby RESOLVES as follows:

 

1. That all pupil barristers who were entered on the Temporary Register on the 11th December 2013 and 13th March 2014 must re-submit valid certificates re-issued by the Sierra Leone Law School signifying the passing of the appropriate professional examinations conducted by the Council of Legal Education pursuant to section 10(b) of the Legal Practitioners Act 2000 on or before noon on the 22nd April 2014.

 

2. That non-compliance with paragraph 1 above will be considered by the General Legal Council as failure to meet the requirements for qualification for admission as a legal practitioner under section 10 of the Legal Practitioners Act 2000.

 

3. That anyone who has not met the requirement under section 10 of the Act by complying with paragraph 1 above and whose name was entered on the Temporary Register on the 11th December 2013 and 13th March 2014 will have his name removed from the temporary Register forthwith, be considered as an unqualified person and therefore prohibited from practicing law in Sierra Leone.

 

Dated the 16th day of April 2014.

 

CHAIRMAN SECRETARY

YADA HASHIM WILLIAMS  MICHAEL IMRAN KANU


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