Law School to come on stream by 2018
The cost per student to attend the J.O.F Haynes Law School of the Americas is dependent on the overall cost of the facility. However, it will be cheaper than other Regional facilities.
A Memorandum of Understanding to complete the facility was today (Wednesday, January 11, 2017) signed between the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/ Law School of the Americas (LCA) to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of a law school here. The study will commence in September 2017.
The government will be granted a 30% share in the venture while the Private investors will be granted a 70% share.
The School which is to be named after the very first Coordinator of the law programme, in 1981, Professor J.O.F. (Joseph Oscar Fitzclarence) Haynes will most likely be built in the Community of Turkeyen. This is according to Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government. He said there is a plot of land in Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara (E.C.D) which the government is hoping to acquire.
He could not give an overall cost of the feasibility study, nor the facility.
The facility is aimed at addressing challenges with limited accommodation that have been faced by local law students, who would want to further their studies at the regional law schools.
Executive Chancellor and Interim President of the University of the Caribbean, Professor Dennis Gayle said it will cut the long wait to pursue studies elsewhere.
Advisor on the Law School Venture, Dr. Trevor Hamilton said the price is “one of the last things to come up” since work is currently being conducted on the feasibility study. He noted however that it will be cheaper than what obtains in most other Caribbean countries since “Guyana is a cheaper location.” “Other alternative is well over $15, 000 US per annum so we take those into consideration and we want to make sure that it becomes more affordable to Guyanese,” he added.
Minister Williams said the school is expected to be completed by 2018.
The government in August 2016 approved $17,900,000 for payment as a contribution towards increased tuition fees for Guyanese law students attending the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) for the academic year 2016-2018.
The J.O.F Haynes Law School of the Americas will cater for over 200 students. It will be offering legal education certificate and continuous legal education. Provisions will also be made for accreditation to ensure that students are accepted around the region.
Lecturers will be provided by the private partners as it was noted that the “UCC itself is international accredited and as a long record of offering quality programs in also law.”
Today’s event was attended by Deputy Chancellor of University of Guyana (U.G), Dr. Barbara Reynolds who urged that aspects of the law relating to national and regional development should be a priority.
“We do not have enough study of the law from an academic perspective as opposed to a practical perspective,” she told the gathering of members of the legal fraternity.
According to Minister of Legal Affairs, over two decades ago, the council of legal education gave the go-ahead for the construction of the facility here but it is only being realised by his administration.
In relation to the continuation of the agreement with the HWLS, Williams said “When we inherited this government- the last government had stopped contributing and we also couldn’t take on that burden of making the contribution so what we did recently in cabinet was really provide a bridge because we only got up to 2018 funding.”