AG says setting up of local Law School being frustrated

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By Devina Samaroo

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Basil Williams on Monday protested the continued chairmanship of the Council of Legal Education by Reginald Armour.

Williams, during a news conference, contended that Armour is frustrating the process of Guyana establishing a local law school.

The Attorney General was clearly upset that Armour has informed that the Council never gave permission for Guyana to construct a local law school.

“If this Chairman continues to act in the manner in which he is acting against the interest of Guyana, we will have to take the matter to the CARICOM heads again. But I am not sure Guyana will be comfortable with such a person remaining in office to chair this organization,” the Attorney General expressed.

The Attorney General is arguing that the Chairman is relying on a report of a Review Committee to now say that the Council never gave permission.

The Legal Affairs Minister contended that a decision of the Review Committee cannot overrule the permission which he insists was granted by the Council in 2017.

Williams strongly believes that the former Attorney General and Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Anil Nandlall caused the Chairman to question whether approval was indeed granted for the establishment of the law school here.

The Attorney General contended, however, that it is unheard of that the Chairman of the CLE would act upon the assertions of an opposition person of a member country without contacting the government minister.

“How could you have some opposition person activating you when there is a sitting Attorney General? And then again, the same Armour, I don’t know what is his remit and why he believes he could frustrate the efforts of our Government to try to alleviate the sufferings of our law students,” the Attorney General posited.

Williams continued: “It is unprecedented for an international public servant to put an item on the agenda that is from an opposition in a member country. That is unheard of. So Mr Armour has acted in a strange way.”

Notwithstanding, the Attorney General maintained that the Ministry is in the process of finalizing the engagement with its Jamaican partners – the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and the Law College of the Americas (LCA) – in relation to the requirements of establishing the Joseph Haynes Law School in Guyana.

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