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Nandlall wants establishment of local law School scrapped

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PPP Executive, Anil Nandlall is calling for the cancellation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed just last week for the establishment of a law school here.

Nandlall at the newly configurated PPP press conference today (Monday, January 16, 2017) said the establishment of any initiative of this kind violates Guyana’s Treaty obligations to CARICOM, an agreement that gave birth to the Council of Legal Education (CLE) in 1973.

At the signing of the MoU on January 11, 2017, Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams noted that the CLE gave the go-ahead for the construction of the facility here over two decades ago but it is only now being realised by his administration.

At Monday’s Press Conference, Nandlall is contending that the green-light to establish the institution during Late Cheddi Jagan’s tenure would have expired but Williams had stated that being a member of the CLE, he knows this to be untrue.

This Council consists of representatives from the University of West Indies, the Principals of the law schools in the region, the Attorney General of each State, the Head of the Judiciary of each State and representatives of the legal profession of each State, he explained.

The former Attorney General is also contending that the two universities; the University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/ Law School of the Americas (LCA) which are partnering to make the J.O.F Haynes Law School of the Americas become a reality are not recognised by the CLE.

“What assurances do we have that their programs, their courses of study and their certification will be recognised even in the Caribbean, worse yet, further afield? To which reputable and known academic institutions or professional bodies are they accredited or, with which they share affiliation? What consultations, if any, were done with the legal profession to solicit their views on this proposed venture?” he questioned.

It is against this backdrop that the former Attorney General is calling for the cancellation of the agreement signed on January 11 last. “Our recommendation is to abandon any initiative that will collide with our Treaty obligations and with our duty as a singular country that is part of a region that is committed to regional integration.”

A Memorandum of Understanding to complete the facility was on Wednesday (January 11, 2017) signed between the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the UCC/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.

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.

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