-to include 35 top students
The University of Guyana (UG), and the Hugh Wooding Law School is seeking to broker a new agreement to cater for UG law graduates. This was revealed by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams at a recent press conference.
The original agreement came to an end in 2013; however it only catered for automatic entry into the law school of Guyanese and not foreign students who complete the programme at UG.
“A new collaborative agreement was drawn up and in that Guyana has added 10 persons also who would be non-Guyanese graduates and that would include students from Belize, Jamaica and so on… so that would be 25 plus 10,” Minister Williams indicated.
He added that Belize is supporting Guyana with the new agreement, as a number of Belizeans complete their Bachelor’s of Law Degree at UG, and ultimately would benefit from such an agreement.
“This came up at the last Council of Legal Education (CLE) meeting and Guyana indicated clearly through the Head of Department of Law that we were ready to sign the agreement which was referred to a sub-committee that is looking at the issue,”Minister Williams explained.
Since the establishment of the Council of Legal Education, member countries should have contributed to the upkeep of the Hugh Wooding Law School, however over the years, many countries either did not meet their contribution in full or not at all, Guyana being one such.
“The fact of the matter is a lot of the countries are also moving away from the underlying philosophy that caused the law school to be set up which is to foster integration… countries are now looking at being self-sufficient- setting up their own law school… Antigua is looking to set up one, Bahamas has set up one, so has Jamaica,” Minister Williams explained.
Nevertheless, Guyana was granted permission by the CLE to establish their law school, but the availability of funding for such a venture is the major challenge for it becoming a reality.
“Whether it is established via a public-private venture, we believe that the law school should be under the aegis of the CLE because graduates would be able to practice in the entire CARICOM as against being confined to Guyana.”
In the meantime, the administration is exploring possibilities of making financial contributions to the Law School, Minister Williams explained.
In the past, students from Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago completed only part 1 of the LLB in the respective territories before heading to UWI’s Cave Hill campus in Barbados to complete parts two and three. This process saw graduates attaining a UWI LLB degree and this gave them automatic entry into the Hugh Wooding Law School in the twin Island Republic. This practice no longer exists as each territory offers the full degree programme. (GINA)