…MOU to be signed today
The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, to formally approve a public-private partnership between Guyana and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and Law College of the Americas (LCA) to establish a new Guyana based Law School.
Williams was quoted as saying in the media that he welcomed the partnership, while indicating that the new law school will be named “JOF Haynes Law School of the America (JHLSA)” and that the Government is hoping to have the school up and functioning by 2018, following the outcome of the feasibility study.
The JHLSA, he says, will allow more access to a captive market where demand or space in law schools across the region is approximately a ratio of 15 to 1.
A feasibility study is expected to commence soon and last approximately 30 days to assess the viability of the project.
In accordance with a release issued by UCC, the new educational facility will be one of the largest law schools in the region.The headquarters and main campus will be in Guyana.
The government had indicated that it was pursing the option of having a law school established in Guyana to facilitate the needs of law students that were facing increasing challenges to gain admission into the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS)-based in Trinidad- among others, in addition to the increasing financial constraints faced by local law students in their pursuit of a career in law.
While a degree in law can be obtained at the University of Guyana (UG), to be licenced to practice law, Guyanese students and foreign students studying in Guyana would have to attend (HWLS), among a few other institutions within the Caribbean to do a two year programme, before they can practice at the Bar.
According to the Group Executive Chairman of the UCC Group of Companies, Winston Adams, the venture is “a landmark undertaking that will chart a new course for Caribbean cooperation between a sovereign state and an indigenous higher educational institution to bring added benefits to Jamaica and other English-speaking Caribbean territories.”
Furthermore, Velma Brown, President of the LCA has noted that the new law school will act in the capacity of a catalyst for the new economy, the region and developing countries. “Importantly, it solidifies the vision of the Law College of the Americas to give access to legal education to a wider cross-section of people who are duly qualified,” Brown told media operatives.
Moreover, the graduates of the Bachelor of Law programmes at the UCC/LCA Law Faculty, as well as graduates from other law faculties across the Caribbean, will be given priority admission to the planned two-year programme at the JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas.