THE new Minister of Education has raised the concept of rehabilitating the education systems. Without a doubt, we can no longer assume that the damage of ignorance can be allowed to persist, and there is hardly any greater damage than what lies in the area of not knowing the basic laws of day to day living while basing one’s actions on speculation and corner gaff.
Knowledge of the laws of any land by its people will determine in the process of time how its populace evolve, prosper and its culture trod upon new soil, fertilising potential landscapes that seem obscure before the principles of law inspire and permit. If one-tenth of the legal misconduct in the transactions of real estate ownership in this land is true, then we have been enveloped in a crisis for far too long.
There must be a subject on ‘Functional Law’ that teaches those areas of the law in a primary perspective within a learning vocabulary that can explore and inform on the following areas of the law: The Power of Attorney, differences between the full and limited document; Rental of real estate and performance contracts from tradesmen and contractors; What is Copyright? How do you License copyright material, and what is ‘work for hire’ against a requested project with a limited license.
What is a ‘Letter of Administration’ and when does a Power Of Attorney (POA)cease to exist?; Can the exploitation of illiteracy redeem the rights of someone after they have been swindled? In the case of the latter are legal practitioners culpable?; What constitutes the possibility of ‘Prescriptive Rights’ and the legal way in the case of the illegal occupation of transported land by an accused with criminally acquired documents?; How are leases allowed and do they permit preferences to purchase by law?; Last but not least are cases of inheritance valid without a Will.
The above are in many cases the type of legal obstacles that the ordinary man could encounter in his journey through life, should he/she be without resources and no awareness of any legal procedures concerning whatever legal challenge faces that individual, then that soul will require angelic interception to survive in a state of peace of mind. I have been a Power Of Attorney and have frequented Judge Rishi Persaud’s Court 8, which I think was one of the busiest courts back then in 2013/14. There’s a case study [not related to that court] I wish to share without names mentioned.
A 74-year-old female confidence trickster with a new and stamped, but long expired full Power of Attorney approached a real estate agent to sell a downtown property. The agent then sold it to a businessman. She got paid and vanished. Soon enough both parties- agent and businessman – felt that something was wrong, the house was occupied by a citizen who had a legal document permitting that person to stay in the house.
Unknown to them this citizen had some time before discovered that the said Power of Attorney was obsolete because the owners had passed on some 12 years before and the same old lady con artist who knew the past owners and had presented herself as a relative and was taking rent from that same citizen during that time, up to when overseas kin of the citizen discovered that the owners had long passed. So the citizen had filled an advised legal request based on the document she was given many years before when the legitimate owners first left the country.
Not understanding the procedure, the businessman concluded that this citizen was all that physically stood in the way of acquiring the premises, so he proceeded to recruit a group of broke and desperate ‘ready fuh sell deh soul as hit men’ group, acquired weapons from a criminal nouveau riche bodyguard and proceeded to murder the citizen in the premises, and they did. They were caught, the intellectual authors were never charged because the government of that day accommodated the evils of ‘Friends’.
All this occurred because of chronic legal ignorance and the prevailing sub-culture of a criminalised state, however, had the system been prudent enough to request the relative documentation notarised from abroad to justify the POA none of that would have happened.Equally important is the second-hand knowledge of the legal system that many of our citizens rely on. But if, awareness was cultivated from the school classrooms would there not have been some possible restraint, from the inception?
Most of our murders and acts of arson are rooted today in domestic disputes. Many of the problems were hinted to by Elton McRae in his letter Monday, November 20 2017, about the historical purpose of our education system, inherited from colonial times that did not embrace career diversity, resulting in the frustrations of inadequate employment capacity. But many of those incidents are also related to the lack of clarification of the importance of legal procedures in joint ownership in business schemes and real estate ownership.
In some cases citizens were misguided upon seeking guidance from legal clerks out to make a dollar and some lawyers notorious for questionable behaviour. Not so long ago a matter was published where a character with the help of a female lawyer was about to sell a house in South, Georgetown belonging to another person.
This happens frequently. The upfront thief was charged but not the lawyer. This has to change. The problem rests with national ignorance that makes people vulnerable to learn through trial and error about the important legal things in their lives.
In many cases, they learn through losses and retaliate or retrogress into fatal grief. In discussing the concept of this article with a younger professional, he suggested that such a programme can be integrated into the current Office Procedure category, becoming instead Office and Legal Procedures.