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Committee to brainstorm possibility of local Law School

Attorney General Basil Williams.

Guyana is preparing to actively explore the possibility of establishing a local Law School, amid the yearly uncertainty that faces University of Guyana law degree graduates in entering the Trinidad-based Hugh Wooding Law School.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams told Demerara Waves Online News that at least one person, Professor Rudolph James, has been identified to be part of a five-member committee.

The committee, Williams said, would be tasked with examining a public-private partnership, attracting foreign students, the ability to pay lecturers and the provision of a modern law library. “Those are the questions that these wise men will have to answer because once you come under the aegis of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) there must be comparable remuneration,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Lecturer at the University of Guyana’s Law Department, Ronald Singh is, however, of the view that Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders and the Council to amend the Treaty to recognise the University of Guyana as the law-degree granting institution and the automatic entry is based on attendance at the University of the West Indies (UWI). “Unless we amend that to include the University of Guyana, even if we set up a Law School to do the LEC (Certificate in Legal Education) in Guyana and that is not cleared they can always say that we have an LEC that is part of the CLE but is UG officially a law-granting institution within the meaning of the CLE- maybe not,” he said.

Currently, the first top 25 Law Degree graduates from the University of Guyana gain automatic entry to Hugh Wooding.

But increasingly, this has become frustrating each year with the Council threatening to withdraw the automatic entry system for UG graduates, saying that the institution was becoming overcrowded

Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders had agreed that a review of the Council should be undertaken to ascertain whether it should be a provider of legal education or merely a regulator of Law Schools.

The issue has become more relevant as institutions other than the University of the West Indies or the University of Guyana are offering Law Degrees.

The University of Guyana recently launched a Masters of Law (LLM) in Legislative Drafting, the Postgraduate Diploma in Legislative Drafting (GDLD) and the Diploma in Legal Education.