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Kenyan students to face pre-university tests for law courses

This comes after a report indicated that over half of law graduates fail to qualify as advocates

This follows a recent report by a task force on legal sector reforms indicating that more than a half of law graduates from local universities were unable to qualify as advocates of the High Court.

The taskforce, chaired by prominent lawyer Fred Ojiambo, says the content of the pre-university assessment will be determined by universities as a criteria for admission to the LL.B Programme.

“The aforementioned test shall be administered by universities at their discretion. The Council of Legal Education will undertake a study on the model of pre-university assessment currently undertaken at Makerere University in Uganda, Riara and Strathmore universities in Kenya and report on the findings of the study to the Attorney-General,” recommends the taskforce.

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According to the report, of the 16,086 students who sat for bar examinations that was administered by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) between 2009 to 2016, only 7,530 who passed while 8,549 failed, translating to 53% failure.

Kenyatta University produced the highest number of failures at 30 per cent of the 8, 540 or 2, 564, Moi University (22 per cent) and University of Nairobi Parkland campus (20 per cent).

The taskforce also noted that most law schools lack professors of law forcing them to settle for persons with Masters qualifications to deliver their programmes.

“Currently, most law schools lack professors of law and have to settle for persons with Masters qualifications to deliver their programmes. Regrettably, in some campuses, there are some lecturers who do not even hold the minimum qualifications required to teach law.

In some cases, even where the faculty is possessed of requisite qualifications and expertise, such staff are deployed in irrelevant disciplines rendering the expertise ineffectual,” it notes.

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