– accuses Williams of having ‘a peculiar allergy to the truth’
Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has denied claims by his successor, Basil Williams, SC, that he was trying to “prevent” the establishment of a law school here.
At a press conference on Wednesday, AG Williams in a statement to media operatives, said that “Mr Anil Nandlall of the PPP/C has written the Council of Legal Education maliciously, seeking to prevent the establishment of the law school in Guyana.”
Nandlall has vehemently refuted this claim, saying he “did no such thing”. In fact, the former AG posited that he was merely trying to ascertain whether the Legal Council had granted permission to the Guyana Government to establish the law school here.
Two weeks ago, Williams signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of the Caribbean (UCC) and Law College of the Americas (LCA) for the establishment of JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas (JHLSA) in Guyana with the permission of the Council of Legal Education that was given some two decades ago.
However, in a statement on Thursday, Nandlall pointed out that there seemed to be a shift in Williams’ position with regard to permission received from the Council.
“As an Executive Member of the Council of Legal Education, from December 2011 to May 2015, I know that the permission granted to Guyana 20 years ago is no longer extant and has been long overtaken by other decisions. Being well acquainted with the modus operandi of the Attorney General, I suspected that he was misleading the nation when he said the Guyana Government has the permission of the Council to establish this current law school,” he stated.
To this end, Nandlall added that he wrote the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education on January 21, 2017 about the agreement that was signed for the establishment of the law school. In the letter, he requested information on whether: “the Council of Legal Education is aware of this initiative; this initiative enjoys the authority and support of the Council; the aforementioned institutions are recognised by the Council.”
The former AG said the Chairman Reginald Armour, SC, responded to him two days later.
The response from the CLE Chairman, which Nandlall released, outlines that, “…the fact of media reports of the Memorandum of Understanding (to establish a law school in Guyana) was last raised at the meeting of the Council of Legal Education in Antigua and Barbuda in September 2016 and will be further discussed by the Council of Legal Education at the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Council scheduled to be held in Jamaica on the 27th of this month. Please be so advised.”
According to Nandlall, he interprets this response as the Legal Council is now learning of the agreement to establish the law school here.
“The Council has not even been formally informed of this matter and accordingly, could not have given this project its permission. It is clear that our Attorney General has a peculiar allergy to the truth. I do not know for how long the President will allow this circus to continue at 95 Carmichael Street,” the former AG posited.
Williams is currently in Jamaica for the CLE’s Meeting of the Executive Committee, which is slated for today and Saturday. At that meeting, he is expected to bring up the MoU signed for the establishment of a law school here.
Additionally, the AG is also expected to partake in a press conference and reception in furtherance of a programme to sensitise the Jamaican public on the establishment of the law school in Guyana.