Guyana to submit law school feasibility study to regional body

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A feasibility study and a business plan regarding the establishment of a law school in Guyana will be submitted to the Council of Legal Education (CLE) – the regional body responsible for the operation of legal educational institutions in the Commonwealth Caribbean.

According to the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Guyana Government is moving apace with its plans to set up a law school here – a venture which requires permission from the CLE in order for the institution to be recognised.

In June 2018, Attorney General Basil Williams and members of the local Joseph Haynes Law School (JHLS) Committee met with representatives of the Jamaica Joint Venture partners.

The Ministry of Legal Affairs had entered into an agreement with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/ Law School of the Americas (LCA) for the establishment of the JHLS in Guyana.

At the meetings, the UCC/LCA representatives were Professor Dennis Gayle, Executive Chancellor of the UCC; Dr. David Wan, Group Finance Director, UCC; Mr. Courtney Wynter, Chairman of the Board, Law College of the Americas (LCA); and Mrs. Marcelle Donaldson, Attorney-at-Law.

Attorney General Basil Williams (center) and other officials during the signing of the agreement at the Ministry of Legal Affairs. (AG Chambers photo)

The visit was specifically aimed to finalize and sign the shareholders’ Agreement for the JHLS, the statement noted.

It added that the team worked relentlessly to ensure that the result was an agreement acceptable by all parties.

After careful consideration and collaboration, the agreement was signed and witnessed by representatives of the parties involved. The shareholders’ agreement together with the Feasibility Study and Related Business Plan will be submitted to the CLE.

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

Williams is not happy with the fact that Guyana is only allowed 25 students to enter the law programme at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago as opposed to the twin-island republic and Jamaica churning out approximately 200 students yearly.

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