Process to begin soon to meet CLE law school requirements

Works to fulfill the requirements set out by the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to establish a law school in Guyana are expected to begin as early as next week.

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, SC, made the announcement on Thursday during the recommissioning ceremony of the Mibikuri Magistrate’s Court, Black Bush Polder, East-Berbice Corentyne.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC

For nearly three decades, Guyana has been trying to establish a law school within its jurisdiction.

In 2017, the then APNU/AFC Attorney General, Basil Williams, SC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and Law College of the Americas (LCA) for the establishment of a law school in Guyana.

However, this motion was outrightly rejected, since the CLE is the only lawful authority for the administering of legal professional education in the Caribbean region.

The MOU was not reflective of CLE’s permission.

“You would have heard me also mention last week that Guyana was able to persuade the council of legal education to consider the establishment of a council law school within the jurisdiction of Guyana. And as I indicated in a press statement, I was ably supported by the Honourable Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Guyana Barr as I presented the case for Guyana,” Minister Nandlall said.

He said the initiative is important due to the high demand for legal services not only in Guyana, but across the Caribbean. As such, he emphasised the significance of the proposed law school having a regional reach, rather than one intended only for Guyanese law students.

“Students will come here from across the Caribbean. It will be an addition to the existing regional law schools existing in three different jurisdictions across the Caribbean. Guyana hopefully will become a fourth destination,” he stated.

An approval for the law school in Guyana would make it the fourth institution to be operated by the Council of Legal Education within CARICOM.

While the law school would be a council’s institution, managed and administered by the CLE, the Government of Guyana, as the host country, will provide the land and buildings as set out in the decision established by the council.

The CLE operates three other law schools within the region: the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad – both established in 1973 – and the Eugene Dupuch Law School in the Bahamas which was established in 1998.

The law school initiative merges into the government’s commitment to promote Guyana as an attractive offshore education destination and fulfil the PPP/C’s manifesto promise of training Guyanese at every level.

This policy will create a skilled workforce repository that will chart the direction of the country’s development trajectory.

Guyana’s proposed law school is expected to attract students from across the region and further afield and will ease the overcapacity which currently exists at the Hugh Wooding and Normal Manley Law Schools.

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