Young lawyers urged to set high standards By Chamanlall Naipaul
Guyana Chronicle
December 9, 2001

The Guyana Bar Association, in conjunction with the Guyana Women's Lawyers Association, yesterday at an annual Christmas dinner at Le Meridian, Pegasus welcomed 33 new entrants to the legal profession and honoured two of its long-standing members who have served the profession with distinction and dignity.

Mr. Rob Milen, a Canadian attorney with 27 years experience in the legal profession, and presently the head of the Carter Centre in Guyana delivered the feature address.

He said the acquisition of a law degree enables one to venture into several fields of work including business, commerce and politics, apart from the legal profession. He added that increasingly more people are entering the legal field. This he attributed to the profession becoming more accessible and affordable.

He urged those who have entered the profession to play a leading role in the setting of high standards, so that they reflect their roles as officers of the court and become examples to young people.

Mr. Milen said the Guyanese society of lawyers being a small one is an advantage, because it provides a better opportunity of bringing them collaboratively and cohesively together in their efforts to ensure that justice and the rights of individuals are upheld.

He also urged that information technology be introduced to remove the bureaucratic impediments hampering the legal and judicial system.

"The use of the internet makes the law accessible to all, and removes the competitive advantage, creating a level playing field for everyone," declared Mr. Milen.

Relating his own experience, he said his law firm in Canada is about 1,000 miles away from where he lives, but he never went there. All his transactions are done via the Internet.

President of the Guyana bar Association, Ms. Anande Trotman charged those gathered to uphold the traditions of the “noblest profession in the world”, pointing out that they are accountable to the citizens and are not above the law.

She urged the new lawyers to become exemplars in the society and to carry out their duties in an honourable manner.

She thanked the donor community for the tangible assistance which the Association has been receiving in its efforts to function more efficiently and effectively.

Through a grant received from the Organisation of Commonwealth and Caribbean Bar Associations, the legal aid clinic was established, Ms. Trotman said.

Three distinguished deceased members of the profession, Arthur Alexander, Milton Persaud and George Richmond, were acknowledged.

Also two practitioners, Ashton Chase O.E and Ms. Sheila Chapman, were honoured for serving the profession with distinction and dedication.

Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Desiree Bernard, and the Chief Justice, Carl Singh, presented plaques of appreciation to Mr. Chase and Ms. Chapman.

Ms. Christine McGowan, Guyana's best graduating law student this year at the Hugh Wooding Law School was also among the gathering.