Local law school delayed by gaps in feasibility study


Close to two years after the Government of Guyana signed an agreement for the establishment of a local law school, the Caribbean Council of Legal Education (CLE) has outlined several issues which need to be addressed before it gives approval.

The CLE has found gaps in the feasibility study submitted by the Guyana Government for the establishment of the JOF Haynes law School. The study was submitted to the Council on July 4, 2018.

Reginald Armour, Chairman of the Council, on Friday, outlined the areas which need to be fixed.

“The feasibility study does not sufficiently address quality assurance, curriculum and the proposed law school at the moment is not compliant with our Treaty and we’ve asked the Government of Guyana to do some work and come back to us,” Armour said at the opening of a CLE three day meeting at the Guyana Marriott Hotel.

Armour said the feasibility sub-committee met with the Government of Guyana on September 3 and both sides agreed to continue negotiations.

The CLE will set a timeline to continue the meetings.

Chairman of the CLE, Reginald Armour, SC. [DPI photo]
He explained that while nothing excludes any country from having their own law school, there are certain criteria which need to be met.

Armour has not ruled out the establishment of the facility which will bring relief to students who travel to the Hugh Wooding Law school every year to pursue studies.

“All possibilities exist and that’s what we are discussing this morning,” he stated.

At the opening of the conference on Friday, Attorney General Basil Williams pointed to the increased financial burden on students who travel to regional law schools and the difficulties faced by those who are left behind.

President David Granger in his address pointed to the need for non-discriminatory admissions to regional law schools while improving access to legal education.

“The Council’s contributions to the development of Caribbean jurisprudence are understated.

“The Council, however, should seek new ways of improving access to, and the delivering of affordable education to all corners of our Caribbean,” the President stated.

Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards also alluded to the need for more trained lawyers noting that the quality of legal education must not be diminished.

The Government on January 11, 2017, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/ Law School of the Americas (LCA) to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of the J.O.F Haynes Law School here.

A plot of land has since been identified at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus to complete the project.

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