Attorney General Anil Nandlall says that the Chairman of the Caribbean Community Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will be writing to the Council of Legal Education (CLE), informing that the 25 Guyanese students who have been denied automatic entry to the Hugh Wooding Law School should be admitted for the academic year 2014.
Nandlall made this disclosure to the Government Information Agency (GINA) following the conclusion of the Caricom Heads of Government Summit in St Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday.
Nandlall told GINA that the letter will also call for a review of the provision of legal education in the region to address the greater need for accommodation and education. This is a serious issue as students from the London based LLB programme and Belize are adversely affected, the minister told GINA.
The fate of Guyanese law students was left in limbo after the Hugh Wooding Law School indicated that it would be unable to accommodate additional students from the University of Guyana’s Law programme. As part of an agreement between UWI’s CLE and UG, every year, 25 automatic placements were offered to UG for entry into Hugh Wooding.
The Council however, recently took the decision that UG’s 2014 batch will not be guaranteed any place at the institution.
Nandlall had previously said “Government considers this as a matter of priority because it puts in jeopardy the life and welfare of a number of students who would be completing the LLB programme at the University of Guyana in the year 2014, and as well, it jeopardises the entire law programme at the university and it jeopardises the future of students who are already in the programme and those students who are desirous of entering the programme.”
For around two decades now, an agreement between UG and the CLE has allowed Guyana’s 25 top-performing law students to gain automatic admittance into the Hugh Wooding Law School, while others have been able to write an entrance exam to determine their admittance.
The initial agreement expired in 2012, after which, Nandlall said, a new agreement that would last until 2013 was struck. He told Stabroek News that new negotiations were to be held in 2014 to determine the way forward but that these talks had not yet taken place.
The revelation of the decision against automatic placement for Guyana’s graduates came on the heels government announ-cing that it was working on increasing the number of top-performing students who would be granted automatic access to Hugh Wooding upon graduating from UG from 25 to 35.