Govt putting the ‘cart before the horse’ – Nandlall says on plan to set up law school

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Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall has again raised several concerns over the government’s plan to set up a law school in Guyana; among them being that if, upon completion of the programme here Guyanese will have a recognised qualification to practice law throughout the Caribbean.

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall and current AG Basil Williams

One major concern for Nandlall is the move taken by Williams to proceed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two institutions which he explained is a clear case of Government putting the “cart before the horse”.

Nandlall said that he feels Williams also misrepresented to Cabinet that he obtained permission from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to establish a law school in Guyana.

In fact the CLE did indicate that Guyana was not granted permission, although the Attorney General declared several times that Guyana did obtain permission in 2017.

Williams had attacked CLE Chairman Reginald Armour claiming that he (Armour) responded to a request from Nandlall to have the matter of Guyana establishing a law school put on the CLE agenda.

In his defense, Nandlall said he did write the CLE chairman questioning him whether he was aware that Guyana is establishing a law school. The former minister also sought to find out whether permission was granted and whether the CLE had in fact authorized Guyana to establish such a law school.

Nandlall maintains that if Government is going about establishing a law school, then it should be done in stages; that is to get the necessary permissions and so on.

While the AG has named Guyana’s committee for the setting up for a law school, he said he is not yet ready to inform the CLE. These members include: 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.

Government announced in January 2017 it would start a project to establish the JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas. This 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).

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