Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Notice to Readers

Dear Reader,

I've started another legal blog: www.davidatlaw.com. I'm therefore going to stop posting on this blog. However, if you are on twitter, you can ask me any questions you have, and I'll do my best to answer them. My twitter handle is @antirhythm.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How to Study to Become a Lawyer

Dear Readers,

I get the question on how to become a lawyer quite often, so I will provide a brief answer today. 

Route 1

In order to become a law student, you need to obtain, first, a degree (4-year duration). Any degree will do if it is awarded by a recognised institution. By "recognised", I mean the institution must be recognised by the institutions which offer law degrees: UG, KNUST, GIMPA, Zenith, Mount Crest (there are a few private arrangements which lead to the 'London Law Degree' but I cannot speak about them). After your first degree, you may gain entry into one of the above-named institutions to study for a law degree - the LLB (2-year duration). After obtaining the LLB (subject to certain conditions) you may qualify to enrol in the Ghana School of Law for the Professional Law Course (2-year duration). In all, taking this route will take a non-graduate about 8 years to become a lawyer.

Route 2

Some universities (e.g. UG and KNUST) allow students with secondary-school certificates to enrol directly to study for the LLB. This reduces the duration of your study (between the university and the Ghana School of Law) to about 5 years.

Route 3

Some students enrol in the LLB programme at a foreign university in a country that shares a commonwealth heritage with Ghana (e.g. Britain, The USA, Canada, and Australia). If after obtaining the LLB, you apply successfully to the Ghana School of Law, you are likely to be offered a place in the full 2-year programme. However, if you enrol in a professional law programme and are admitted as a lawyer in a foreign country (of the description above) and you satisfy any post-qualification conditions in that country, you may be permitted  to "convert" to the Ghana bar by enrolling in a 3-month programme (may have changed slightly) at the Ghana School of Law.

Hopefully, this helps a bit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

House Rules

Dear Readers,

I am quite happy to answer your everyday legal questions as they come. However, please follow the rules of asking the questions, but posting them in the box provided for questions in the column on the left-hand side, and NOT as comments to older posts. The comments space is for specific comments on specific posts.

Thank you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Making Friends with A Girl

Dear Reader,

  1. Of course, you can make friends with a girl (generally of any age) if it is just that.
  2. Just know that, quite apart from legal rules, there are social rules for making friends with persons within and outside certain age brackets. (I do not by this take any position on these social rules).
  3. If the intended friendship is intimate, then you cannot have sex with a girl below the age of 16 (whether she gives her consent or initiates the sex or not). 
  4. It is illegal for a girl to be married before she is 18.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Abortions in Ghana

Dear Reader,

A person who causes an abortion by any means (including a female who permits it to be done to her) commits an offence and (if convicted) may be jailed for up to 5 years.

Some abortions are permitted if done by a registered OB/GYN in an approved medical centre.

Permitted abortions may be carried out in cases where a pregnancy has resulted from rape, incest, or sexual intercourse of a female without full mental capacity.

Permitted abortions may also be carried out in cases where to allow the pregnancy to continue may lead to the death of the pregnant woman, or may cause her some serious physical or mental injury.

Further, permitted abortions may be carried out where there is a substantial risk of congenital or later physical abnormality or disease to the child.

In all cases of permitted abortion, the prior consent of the pregnant woman is required. If she lacks the capacity to give such consent, then it would be required from the person who is responsible for her well-being.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Custody Battles

Dear Reader,

The 'Best Interest of the Child' principle, in practice, means an infant would normally be put in the custody of its mother if she has good character and the means to look after the child.

It would be strange for an absentee father to successfully win custody of a child with the intention of giving that child into the care of his mother (the child's grandmother).

Even where the biological mother does not have the financial means to look after the child, that is not enough reason to take the child away from her. This is because the father is still responsible for the maintenance of the child (and he can be compelled by the court to pay for the maintenance of the child).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

From Accountant to Corporate Lawyer

Dear Reader,

With your first degree (no matter in what subject) you pretty much qualify to apply to the faculties of law at Legon or KNUST.

You are quite a few steps from becoming a corporate lawyer:

1. Get into a law degree programme.

2. Choose electives (at the right time) with a focus on business law. Such electives include Commercial Law and International Trade & Investment Law.

3. Get into the Ghana School of Law after graduating with a law degree.

4. Graduate from law school and gain admission to the bar (become a lawyer).

5. Gain admission into a law firm which focuses on corporate law.

Good luck.