AG downplays law degrees in local varsities at The Riara University Law School Colloqium Function

  The Attorney General Githu Muigai  yesterday criticised universities for producing half-baked lawyers. The AG said the parallel degree programme is a con game set up by universities to “mint” money as their students have nothing to show.Speaking at Riara University, Muigai said Kenya School of Law will conduct its last examinations this year after which the Council of Legal Education will take over. He said KSL had failed in its duty as a gate keeper to ensure unqualified lawyers are not admitted to the bar.

The institute conducts a one year programme to university law graduates before they are licensed to practice as magistrates, judges or lawyers. He said with CLE, those who fail in the examinations thrice will be discontinued from pursuing a career in law.

“A student studying medicine who has failed exams seven times is not allowed to perform surgery on a patient and CLE will operate on the same standards,” the AG said.

Githu said universities do not have the ability to monitor parallel degree programmes and a lecturer teaches in more than five different fields. “It is absurd to teach labour, family and criminal law in total disregard for knowledge beneficial to the learners,” the AG said.

Githu said there are reports that students hire people to do thesis for them to pass examinations but that will be a thing of the past once CLE takes charge.

“If law graduates will not have qualified at the university level, they will pursue a different profession as it will be impossible to pass CLE exams,” Githu said.

He said it is unfortunate that some regional universities have set up their campuses on top of bars and expect their students to pass exams and excel in law. “It is sad that we are forced to live with such people after the institutions fail,” Githu said.

He said his vision is for Kenya to produce the best law students in Africa and wants the way law is taught to improve. “We better have small but professional law schools,” Githu said.

Courtesy of The Star,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013.
Prof. James Gathii, Professor of Law & Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law at the University of  Loyola Chicago School of Law, Mr. Apollo Mboya, Chief Executive Officer of the Law Society of Kenya, Mr. Eric Kibet, and Ms. Connie Ngondi, Adjunct Lecturer, Riara Law School were some of the other speakers that that participated in the event.

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