…feasibility study handed overAhead of Guyana’s hosting of the three-day meeting of the Council for Legal Education (CLE), which begins tomorrow (Thursday), Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams has given all assurances that the path has been cleared for the establishment of a local law school in Guyana. Speaking to members of the media at the AG’s Chambers on Monday, Williams noted that the Caribbean Region would be transformed if the school were to be established.Establishment of such a local institution — which Government intends to name the JOF Haynes Law School — has been the subject of much uncertainty, with former Attorney General Anil Nandlall stating that Guyana has not received permission in regard to this course of action, and that Government was proverbially putting the cart before the horse.AG Williams is, however, claiming that Guyana has “gone past” the stage of receiving permission, and that the go-ahead has been recommended.“The final report on the survey of the legal study on education is out, and they are recommending that Guyana, Antigua and Jamaica [establish law schools],” the AG said on Monday.He said many of Guyana’s law students are finding it difficult to cope in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, and are “seeking scholarships” to complete their programmes at Hugh Wooding Law School.He explained that the tuition per year is TT$$98,000, which translates to Gy$3 million, and this sum does not include accommodation.It is understood that in the agreement to establish the Council for Legal Education, member states were empowered to establish law schools.“At the time, they had mentioned Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica should establish law schools. Jamaica already has one. We don’t have any, and we would like to establish our law school. We don’t see why we shouldn’t have our law school in Guyana, especially at this time,” Williams noted.Probed further, the Legal Affairs Minister revealed that the feasibility study has been received, and many of the issues surrounding the school’s establishment would be brought up for discussion on Tuesday.“The CLE has some initial comments. They’ve raised some comments on the feasibility study and the business plan,” the AG noted.Reporters were told it has been proposed that the local law school be constructed on 10 acres of land provided by the University of Guyana (UG). Williams outlined that a plan was submitted for the building, but there is risk that the CLE could opt against accepting the plan. Nevertheless, Williams noted, Guyana would take its concerns to the Heads of Government in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), who will serve as the final arbitrators.Government had, in January 2017, announced it would start a project to establish the JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas. This school is being established through a public-private partnership entered into between the Government of Guyana, the Law School of the Americas (LCA), and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC); and would add to the existing options available to holders of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. The joint venture is expected to cost some US$6 million.The CLE Executive Council will, between September 6 and 8, host a series of meetings that would include Heads of Judiciaries, Attorneys General, and representatives from various Bar Associations across the region.President David Granger will give the feature address at Friday’s opening ceremony of the CLE at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown. The February 2018 Final Report on the Survey of Legal Education in Caricom Member States will be on the agenda for discussion, the AG has said.