Increased UWI intake seen behind UG law students plight

A decision to increase the student intake of the University of the West Indies (UWI) without increasing the capacity of the Hugh Wooding Law School led to the decision to deny guaranteed placement to this year’s University of Guyana law graduates, Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has said.

“There is no space at all for Guyana’s students, nor any other students coming from campuses aside from campuses of the University of the West Indies,” Nandlall told Stabroek News during an interview on Friday evening.

Last week, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported that UWI’s Council for Legal Education (CLE) recently took the decision that UG’s 2014 batch—made up of the top 25 graduates—would not be guaranteed any places at the institution. However, no explanation for the decision was offered until Nandlall’s disclosure on Friday.

Since the announcement, there has been speculation that local graduates will still be able to enter Hugh Wooding by sitting an entrance examination. But, Nandlall made it clear that any perception to the effect that an entrance examination can be used as an alternate path into Hugh Wooding is ill-conceived.

The other law schools in the Caribbean are the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas. But Nandlall explained that students from Guyana only have the option of attending the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas owing to zoning stipulations. The high fees attached to pursuing the Law Education Certificate (LEC) at that school, however, may prove an impediment to many who consider this avenue.

On Wednesday, Nandlall had said that government has made interventions and the Caricom Heads of Government have agreed to discuss the matter when they meet today in St Vincent and the Grenadines. “I will spare no effort in resolving the recent decision,” Nandlall was quoted by GINA as saying.

While the fate of this year’s law graduates looks grim, there may be reason for students graduating in later years to breathe a sigh of relief. Nandlall told Stabroek News that the decision against automatic placements seems to only have been made to cater for this year.

The agreement between UG and CLE for UG’s students to gain automatic placements ended in December 2012 and new negotiations were to be held. It is unclear what has happened with these negotiations. Prior to the agreement, UG students had also encountered difficulties gaining access to Hugh Wooding since Guyana is not part of the CLE.

In the early aughts, then President Bharrat Jagdeo had proposed the establishment of a local law school during his chairmanship of Caricom. He had said then that it might be in the interest of Guyana to set up its own law school, given that Guyana was only allowed a quota of 25 students at the Hugh Wooding Law School under the collaborative tripartite agreement it had with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the CLE.

Though the idea of having a law school in Guyana received widespread approval, even from the CLE, the lack of the requisite resources stymied its development. A plot of land had even been identified but it never went much further than that.

A senior government official, who only agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, suggested that the primary motivating factor behind Guyana’s decision to set up its own law school was the then issue between UWI and UG. He said that since the issue was resolved, the aspirations for a law school in Guyana soon dissipated as Guyana’s students recommenced their studies in Trinidad.

 

More in Local News

default placeholder

Windies on the ropes against India

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – India, replying to West Indies’ 196 all out, were 126 for one in their first innings at the close on the opening day of the second Test against India at Sabina Park here Saturday.

default placeholder

Economy was sluggish through first half of year – GBTI Chairman

The economy was sluggish throughout the first of the year, according to the Chairman of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), Robin Stoby.

The newly commissioned $26.5 million Student Loan Agency, located at the University of Guyana Turkeyen’s campus

UG loan defaulters face travel ban

Government yesterday outlined proposed measures to ensure that University of Guyana (UG) students repay their loans, including barring those with outstanding debts from leaving the country.

default placeholder

Sexually-abused girls, ages 13 to 15, largest group in children’s homes

Over the last ten years, the number of children in institutional care in Guyana has increased by almost 50%, with girls between the ages of 13 and 15, many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, representing the largest single age group.

default placeholder

ExxonMobil seeking more acreage for oil search

American oil firm ExxonMobil is seeking to acquire more acreage offshore Guyana and a top executive has reiterated that the plan for production is “probably early into the next decade at this point.” In a quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday, ExxonMobil’s Vice President, Investor Relations and Secretary Jeffrey J.

default placeholder

Troy records second quarter drop in gold production

Australian mining company Troy Resources Limited has produced 34,740 ounces of gold for the year up to the end of June at its Karouni gold project here and adverse weather conditions and teething problems at its mill are being blamed for hindering operations in the last quarter.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: