US$6M for state-of-the art law school complex


…govt moving ahead with plans to set up facility at UG

Government is moving ahead with its plans to establish a law school even as a feasibility study for the setting up of the facility is being worked out.

Also key stakeholders of the projects have already acquired a building plan and design for the facility which is proposed to be 50,000 sq. ft with three floors. The law school will be named the Joseph Oscar Fitzclarence Haynes Law School and will be sited at the University of Guyana. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Basil Williams S.C. has recently reassured that the school will be opened here. The APNU+AFC coalition government in January last year announced the project. The project comes after some two decades of lobbying for an alternative to the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago and the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas.

The JOF Haynes Law School is being established through a Public-Private Partnership between the Government of Guyana, the Law School of the Americas (LCA) and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) and will add to the existing options available to holders of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and who intend to pursue their Legal Education Certificate (LEC). A timeline of 2018 was set for establishment of the local institution and according to the attorney general, whether or not the time line is met, a local law school will be established. “It is a complex issue…we have to have a law school and whether people are putting up obstacles and so, the obstacles will have to be broken down,” Williams told reporters recently.

He explained that Guyanese students are faced with hefty sums they have to pay and along with the small quota of students accepted into the Hugh Wooding Law School, are of concern to his administration. Guyanese students have struggled with the system that allows them entry to the Hugh Wooding Law School and only late last year Williams was able to secure a collaborative agreement between the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Council for Legal Education (CLE) and UG, paving the way for the top 25 Guyanese law students to have automatic entry into the Hugh Wooding Law School.

Back in December last year Williams had said that he had written the Vice Chancellor of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith for him to identify the land that Chancellor Desiree Bernard had in early 2001, 2002 identified. He said the decision was made then that the building on the University of Guyana (UG) Campus.” At an earlier meeting Williams along with the task force looking into the establishment of the Joseph Haynes Law School of the Americas had met to examine the provisions in the Revised Business Plan of the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), one of the Jamaican Partners in the Public/Private Partnership intended to establish the law school.

The business plan was submitted pursuant to a MoU entered into between the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), Law College of the Americas (LCA) and the Government of Guyana (GOG), which contained a provision for a feasibility study to be done to determine the viability of establishing the law school.