As he gears up to discuss the ambitious venture of establishing a law school in Guyana with the Council of Legal Education, Attorney General Basil Williams explained that the local law school will not be subjected to the zoning regulations applied to other law schools in the Region.
The Attorney General told media operatives during a press conference on Wednesday that the JOF Haynes Law School – to be established in Guyana – will not be zoned as the other legal institutions in the Region that are operating under the CLE.
“Everybody in the Region it (the law school) will be opened to,” he stated.
The three law schools operating under the CLE are categorised into different zones, whereby students who reside in territories within a particular zone can only study at the schools which fall under their zones.
Williams will be attending the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the CLE in Jamaica between January 27-28 and among the agenda items will be discussions on the establishment of the law school in Guyana.
He said this discussion would fall under “other business”.
The Guyana Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two law institutions out of Jamaica for the establishment of a law school here – which is expected to eliminate the difficulties faced by law students across the Caribbean in pursuing their furthering their studies in the legal field.
The two law schools are the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and the Law College of the Americas (LCA).
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has since expressed concerns over these two institutions, contending that they are “virtually unknown”.
Nandlall had also raised concerns over the accreditation of the school and the quality of education to be offered.
But the Attorney General is assuring on a number of occasions that the Council of Legal Education will be governing the operations of the local law school, and that the institution and its programmes will be accredited and recognised across the entire Region.
It was pointed out that the cost would be incredibly cheaper given that students factored in living expenses in addition to their tuition when they were studying abroad.
Assurances were also given that the lecturers contracted will be of high standards to ensure that the students are offered quality legal education.
It is also the vision of the partners involved for the school to go beyond training students to be called to the bar.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), Dr Barbara Reynolds expressed the hope that the law school will broaden the horizons for students studying law.
Dr Reynolds stressed that there is not sufficient study of the law from an academic perspective as opposed to a practical perspective.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General hopes that the law school will become operational next year in order to accommodate Guyanese law students desirous of pursuing their legal studies.