By Bibi Khatoon
After several months of back and forth between the University of Guyana and the Attorney General Chambers, the university has finally identified 10 acres of land at its Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown campus, for the construction of a building to house the J.O.F. (Joseph Oscar Fitzclarence) Haynes Law School.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon following the first Annual Business Meeting University’s council, Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nigel Harris told reporters that the identification of the plot of land was among a list of decisions taken at the meeting.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ivelaw Griffith pointed out that it is now up to the Attorney General, Basil Williams and the organizing committee for the law school to determine when the construction will begin.
Responding to questions from the media, Professor Griffith explained that the responsibility of the university is to host the school.
“So there is no rent charge, there is an expectation that services for construction will be funded by whomever the host is, there is an expectation that services for maintenance will also be honoured by whomever the host is,” he said.
Prof. Griffith said, “it is up to the organizers at that end as to when the construction might begin and when the school will become operational.”
An agreement was signed in January of 2017 between the AG and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/ Law School of the Americas (LCA) to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of the JOF Haynes law school.
After close to one year has passed without any moves being made in the direction of having the facility, which will address challenges of limited accommodation faced by local law students at the regional law schools, the initiative became one shrouded in controversy.
There has been controversy surrounding whether Guyana was granted permission from the CLE to establish the law school since there are no documents to show same but the AG dismissed those claims on the grounds that permission was granted before he assumed office.
The School is to be named after the very first Coordinator of the law programme, in 1981, Professor J.O.F. (Joseph Oscar Fitzclarence) Haynes.