Attorney Chevy Devonish on a mission to educate Guyana’s population about the law

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By Isanella Patoir

Local Journalist, lecturer and now Attorney-at-law Chevy Devonish was admitted to the local bar on Tuesday.

He told the News Room that he wants to educate persons about the laws of Guyana as it relates to land and civil issues.

“Primarily I want to be able to educate persons about the law which are pertinent to their everyday life such as landlord and tenant, land law; I want to be able to educate Guyana’s populace about laws which are important to them and I also want to be able to contribute to development of both local and regional jurist prudence,” Devonish said..

Devonish’s petition to practice law was presented in the High Court by Senior Counsel Stephen Fraser to Chief Justice Acting, Roxane George Wiltshire.

“My decision to do law started in 2014 really; at that point, I had worked two years in the media, I covered mainly Parliament, press conferences and what I realized is that I didn’t know enough to be able to do my job,” Devonish said.

Attorney-at-law Chevy Devonish

In 2016, he met Senior Counsel Fraser where he was given the opportunity to intern at his law firm. Devonish noted that while interning with Fraser his interest in law grew and he was eventually offered a scholarship to study at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.

While there, he said the most important thing he observed was how much there is to learn and as such, there is a hunger in him to keep learning more.

“I think it is now my intention to adopt to a pasture of continuous learning so I don’t tell myself that I know enough or know everything, regardless of how much you know, the breadth of law is immeasurable,” Devonish said.

He explained that there is no particular area that he is interested in when it comes to the law, however, Devonish said he aims to practice constitutional law, administrative law, human rights and environmental law among others.

“I have an interest in all the areas of law, what I will practice is whatever I find to be interesting and at this point I find most areas to be interesting,” he said.

However, Devonish is now uncertain about leaving the media to practice law entirely.

L-R: Roxanne Devonish, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George Wiltshire, Chevy Devonish and his grandmother at the High Court on Tuesday

He said he will remain at the Stabroek News as he feels it is also his responsibility to write on issues that affect people in the country.

“I started in the media and so I return to the media because I am passionate about writing on issues and I think that a legal education gives you a particular advantage and a particular perspective to be able to write on some of these issues,” Devonish said.

Meanwhile, Devonish will be practising in the teaching aspects of the law.

He lectures political theory, public international law and jurist prudence at the Department of Law of the University of Guyana.

“I started lecturing in 2011 after I finished my first degree in international relations and I lectured in politics for about six years,” Devonish said.

It was noted that while he was studying in Trinidad he was also publishing stories as a freelance journalist.

He said his mother is the most supportive and important person in him achieving this milestone.

Roxanne Devonish told the News Room that as a single parent she always supported her son’s academic pursuits.

“I am a humble mother, in all his achievements behind his name, he is a person that chartered his own course, he knew what he wanted, and he set his objectives into a play and went behind vigorously what were his dreams. All I did was give him the support,” his mother said.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice acting, Roxane George-Wiltshire encouraged Devonish to continue to pursue higher heights.

She noted that there is a need for guidance in legal issues and believes that Devonish can assist in this area.

She told him to practice law with the proper conduct, attitude and integrity, which is most important in this profession.

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