Guyana has been trying to establish a law school within its jurisdiction for the past three decades but has been unsuccessful.
However, following a meeting of the Council of Legal Education of the West Indies (CLE) held in Bridgetown Barbados on September 16 and 17, Attorney General Anil Nandlall presented a proposal for the establishment of a Council’s law school in Guyana and the request was favourably considered.
The Attorney General in a statement released on Sunday disclosed this. Nandlall in an invited comment on Monday noted that once the request has been approved, the establishment of the school would have immense benefits.
“In terms of Guyanese benefitting, it will improve our standing as an education destination and as a Government policy position. Secondly it will provide an avenue for more Guyanese to qualify as lawyers in particular, those who are in the system but are unable to go to the law schools in the region,” the AG said.
The AG in his presentation said the Government is proposing that the law school be a Council’s institution, managed and administered by the CLE but that the Government will provide the land and buildings based upon criteria and specifications set by the Council.
Following the proposal, the Council made a decision to write to the Government of Guyana shortly, informing of this decision and setting out the criteria and other requirements, which the Government will have to satisfy.
Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag) Yonnette Cummings-Edwards who was representing the judiciary and Attorneys-at-Law, Teni Housty and Kamal Ramkarran, representing the Guyana Bar Association supported the Attorney General in presenting Guyana’s case.
The proposed Law School is expected to attract students from across the Region and further afield easing the overloading, which currently obtains at Hugh Wooding and Norman Manley Law Schools.
“It will bring a lot of Caribbean nationals to Guyana and with that comes a whole lot of economics and social benefits, because each of them will have to live here and they will have to spend here and most importantly, it will be a regional school that will cater to take off a burden of persons wanting to go to law schools throughout the Caribbean,” Nandlall added.
The Council of Legal Education of the West Indies (CLE) is the lawful authority for the administering of legal professional education in the Caribbean Region. The Council does so through its law schools, the Hugh Wooding Law School, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Norman Manley Law School, Kingston, Jamaica, and Eugene Dupuch Law School, Nassau, Bahamas.
This arrangement is governed by a Treaty, which is incorporated by legislation in all member States. Under this arrangement, holders of a recognized Bachelor of Laws degree are admitted to these law schools and upon the satisfactory completion of a course of study, are issued with a Legal Education Certificate (LEC), which qualifies them to practise before the Courts of Law in member States.