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AG says law school still on track despite no approval from authorities

Attorney General Basil Williams continues to provide false hope that the establishment of the law school remains on the table despite having received no permission from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to set up this institution.
At a press conference yesterday, he contended that despite the reports and statements made by the Chairman of the CLE, that Guyana was given the green light to build the school.

The Attorney General held out that permission was granted and that the Guyana Government will continue its engagement with its partners in Jamaica to set up the school. He disclosed that a feasibility study is still ongoing and that the University of Guyana has demarcated lands to host the school.

However, the Chairman of the CLE, Reginald Armour, in a letter to the Attorney General, said that the Council never gave permission for Guyana to construct the Joseph Haynes Law School (JHLS).

As a result, Williams staunchly criticised Armour and began to assassinate his character at his press conference – where he even threatened to take steps at the level of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to have him removed from Office.

The Attorney General said: “If this Chairman continues to act in the manner in which he is acting against the interest of Guyana, we would have to take the matter to the Caricom Heads again but I am not sure Guyana will be comfortable with such a person remaining in office to chair this organization.”

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall had explained that when the announcement was made by the Attorney General in January 2017, that the Government of Guyana will establish its own law school and that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed to this effect by the Attorney General and representatives of two “obscure institutions”, he questioned this development on two grounds.

“Firstly, that legal education in the Caribbean is administered by the Council of Legal Education of the West Indies under a common law enacted in all member states, including Guyana; that this Council operates three (3) law schools in the region; that no new law school can be established without the permission of the Council; and that any law school so established runs the risk of not being recognised by the Council and the host country that does so can be liable for violation of treaty obligations.

“My second query related to the academic integrity of the two institutions that were party to the aforementioned MOU, since they are unknown to this part of the world. My interest here related to the quality of the legal education which would be offered.”

The two institutions are the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and the Law College of the Americas (LCA).

Nandlall had maintained that that the truth of the matter is that the Attorney General never obtained the permission of the Council of Legal Education to establish a law school in Guyana.

After being exposed in this lie by the Chairman of the CLE himself, the Attorney General is seeking to cast blame in all directions and has even began attacking the Chairman Armour in order to hold on to the lie he has been peddling.

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