first_imgDespite various contentions surrounding the process by which Guyana is planning to set up a law school, the country’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams says that Guyana will go ahead with its plans.Williams is holding out that Guyana has not been refused permission to set up a law school here. As such, preparations are being made to advance this process with the identification of space at the University of Guyana (UG) Turkeyen Campus where the proposed school should be built.Attorney General Basil WilliamsThe AG said, however, while UG has identified 15 acres of the 150 acres that it has, which is close to the area that houses the Forensic Laboratory, that would not be sufficient.“We are right now in the process of the feasibility where we looking at all factors including the criteria in establishing under the auspices of the (Council of Legal Education) CLE … nobody can stop us from building a law school … we are founding members of Caricom and we feel that we have a right … We want to build a law school here,” he added.While the CLE has agreed to establish a law school in Guyana, approval would only be granted after a feasibility study is conducted. Asked to provide an update on this process which extends beyond finding a suitable location, the AG did not have this information readily available for the media.However, this study is being conducted through a joint partnership with the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and the Law College of the Americas (LCA), and the criteria of the University of The Bahamas, formerly The College of The Bahamas, to offer a law degree have to be applied.Blame gameAgain, Williams attacked CLE Chairman Reginald Armour. “We are saying that no international organisation is driven by the Opposition and we have an email sent from him (Armour) to (Anil) Nandlall assuring him that he will put the item on the agenda without consulting me, the sitting Attorney General for Guyana,” Williams said, explaining that this led to a partial delay in the setting up of the school.However, despite the blame game, the AG said he was not yet ready to inform the CLE of the members of a committee that will meet with that regional body next month. Although naming the members of that committee, Williams said, “We don’t have to submit nothing to no CLE until we are ready. Mr Armour is not in charge of the CLE. Mr Armour is a servant of the Council, including the Council of Ministers who told him that he couldn’t publish no statement that he did and he had to withdraw it.”The Attorney General revealed that the members of Guyana’s committee include the Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George; Retired Justices Duke Pollard, Claudette Singh and Rudolph James; Professor Harold Lutchman, and the Registrar of UG, Dr Nigel Gravesande.Williams maintains that a Review Committee could not overrule a decision taken by the Council in 2017 in regard to the issue of whether Guyana should be allowed to build a law school.The Attorney General had, in early December 2017, said in a statement that the CLE Chairman was relying on a report of a Review Committee to state that the CLE never gave permission to Guyana to establish its own law school after decades of lobbying for an alternative to the three existing law schools currently servicing the Caribbean.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall had queried if graduates of the proposed law school would be eligible to practise anywhere else in the Caribbean or the world, or whether graduates would be qualified to practise only in Guyana.He also questioned the quality-control scrutiny, or steps taken to verify and authenticate the academic integrity and standards of the partners that would be assisting Guyana to set up the school.Government announced in January 2017 it would start a project to establish the JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas.The JOF Haynes Law School is being established through a public-private partnership entered into between the Government of Guyana, the Law School of the Americas (LCA) and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), and will add to the existing options available to holders of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB).last_img