According to a release from the Attorney General (AG) Chambers, a shareholders’ agreement for the establishment of the proposed Joseph Haynes Law School in Guyana was signed sometime over the period of June 18-20, 2018.
The statement outlined that Attorney General, Basil Williams and members of the local Joseph Haynes Law School (JHLS) committee met with representatives of the Jamaica joint venture partners.
“The representatives were Professor Dennis Gayle, Executive Chancellor of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean, UCC; Dr David Wan, Group Finance Director, UCC;Courtney Wynter, Chairman of the Board, Law College of the Americas (LCA); and Mrs Marcelle Donaldson, Attorney-at-Law.”
The Chambers posited that the visit was specifically aimed at finalizing and signing the shareholders’ agreement for the JHLS.
“The team worked relentlessly to ensure that the result was an agreement acceptable by all parties. After careful consideration and collaboration the agreement was signed and witnessed by representatives of the parties involved. The shareholders’ Agreement together with the Feasibility Study and Related Business Plan will be submitted to the Council of Legal Education (CLE)” said the AG Chambers.
It was disclosed in March of this year that ten acres of land at the University of Guyana’s (UG) Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown campus has been allocated towards the establishment of the proposed JOF Haynes Law School in Guyana.
Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, had said that “there is an expectation that services for construction will be funded by whoever the host is. There is expectation that services for maintenance will also be honored by whoever the host is.”
He posited however, that the decision of when the construction will commence lies in the hands of the Attorney General.
In January of 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the University of the Caribbean (UCC) and Law College of the Americas (LCA) for the establishment of the JOF Haynes Law School in Guyana.
However, the establishment of the Law School has been shrouded in controversy after it was highlighted by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, that the incumbent Attorney General did not seek permission from the CLE for Guyana to establish a local Law School.
“Mr. Williams boldly asserted that he obtained permission of the Council. This remains a blatant misrepresentation. I drew the matter to the attention of the Council. The Council raised the matter with him and to the utter shock of the Council, he informed them that they (the Council) granted Guyana permission to establish a Law School” Nandlall had said.
However, Williams, earlier this year, again stated firmly that the Government of Guyana is forging ahead with the establishment of the local law school and is continuing the work which he said was started under the previous Administration.
At that time, the Attorney General, in response to a question posed by the media regarding the denial of permission for Guyana to undertake the building of the Law School, reasoned that permission must have been granted.
“Why would the Chancellor of the Judiciary at the time, Justice Bernard go to a meeting and talk about sighting at the University of Guyana for the school?” he questioned.
The Minister reiterated then that the project is currently in the feasibility stage and all factors will be examined including establishing the Law School under the auspices of the CLE.