Local law school accreditation essential - Prof James
Stabroek News
September 13, 2002

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The Academic Board of the University of Guyana (UG) has strongly urged the government to get the blessing of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) for the law school it proposes to establish in September 2003.

The school will provide practical training for the law graduates desirous of being attorneys-at-law.

Sources close to the university informed Stabroek News that the board advised that it is essential that the council should accredit the local law school so that graduates of the school would have audience before the Caribbean Court of Justice and the other courts in the region.

This was one of the major concerns on Monday when the Head of the Law Department, Prof Rudy James made a presentation to the Academic Board during which he laid out the implications for the University's LL.B programme.

Prof James and a number of his senior colleagues in the law department prepared a concept paper on the establishment of the school at the behest of the Attorney General. Cabinet has adopted the concept paper and mandated the Attorney General to raise the issue at last weekend's meeting of the Council in St Kitts. He did so and the council has decided to appoint a task force to work with the local task force on the establishment of the school.

Essentially, according to Prof James, the proposed law school would complement the LL.B programme and enhance the resources necessary for the further development of legal education at UG.

But he conceded that it would have implications for the nature and content of the Collaborative Agreement between UG and the CLE. Its signatories are currently reviewing this agreement.

He said too that it could enhance the university's plans for taking legal education beyond its walls by programmes such as legal aid and advisory services and continuing legal education.

According to the paper put up by Prof James, the local law school would be sited on the Turkeyen campus and created by legislation. It will be run by a board chaired by the Chief Justice and on which will sit, among others, representatives of the government, bar association, UG and CLE. It is anticipated that it will attract graduates other than Guyanese nationals.

The law school, the paper says, will share some common facilities with the Law department such as the Library, the Resource Centre and the Mooting Room.

The estimated capital cost for building and developing the Law Library and the Resource Centre is about US$1.5 million for which the government will be responsible. The estimated annual recurrent expenditure is in the region of US$81,000 to be met from an annual subvention and fees.