AG hinted at considerations to offset student fees for Guyanese once a new law school is built, but said this would be discussed further once construction can begin.
The high cost attached to pursuing a career in law is known to have deterred many Guyanese from the profession in the past.
Guyanese students mainly attend the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad. Other options available are the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas, with only the top 25 law students from the University of Guyana allowed in each year.
Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall is cognisant of this and said there are considerations on having Guyanese pay a reduced cost to attend the school.
“Governments in the region contribute to the council of legal education and that contribution is sometimes used to set off student fees. All those arrangements will be addressed or put into place at the relevant time. We are far away from that at this point in time.”
Guyana has been trying to establish a law school for nearly three decades. Guyanese have struggled with the financial burden of the multi-million dollar fees for the two-year law programme coupled with the added costs of living in a foreign country throughout the programme.
The Minister of Legal Affairs further noted that the Government’s efforts in expanding Guyana’s legal sector will result in a need for more qualified persons in the legal profession.
He added that knowledge in law is vital across multiple sectors as well.
As Guyana awaits the greenlight to begin construction from the Council for Legal Education, which administers legal professional education in the Caribbean under the Caricom Treaty, AG notes the new law school will also service the backlog of persons across the Caribbean unable to further their law studies due to overcrowding at regional schools.
“That is in keeping with the Government’s objective of making Guyana an academic and education destination in this part of the world. We are also trying to attract many universities of international standing and repute to offer other academic courses and other academic training exercises in particular in the medical field and now we are moving in this direction in the legal field.”
This is part of the Government’s wider agenda to give the nation a cutting-edge legal system to support its development and make Guyana an “education destination.”