Chairman of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) Jacqueline Samuels-Brown has declined to be a panellist today at Moot Court Guyana’s symposium on Guyana’s legal education dilemma, but will attend the function nonetheless.
Samuels-Brown, along with Legal Affairs Minister and Attorney General Anil Nandlall, President of the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) Ronald Burch-Smith, Analyst and Attorney-at-Law Christopher Ram, and Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh were all invited to be panellists as they are deemed critical to the situation.
Nandlall, Burch-Smith and Ram have accepted the invitation while Samuels-Brown and Justice Singh have declined. According to thesymposium’s organisers, the majority of whom are students-at-law at the University of Guyana (UG), Justice Singh cannot attend because he has other engagements.
Several of the symposium’s organisers approached the CLE Chairman while she was on a break from the Commission of Inquiry (CoOI) into the death of Walter Rodney.
Samuels-Brown reportedly told the students that if she were to sit on the panel she would be doing so in her capacity as Chairman of the CLE. Since, Samuels-Brown explained, she has not engaged the rest of the council on the invitation she will be unable to accept the invitation. The students say though, that Samuels-Brown will be part of the audience.
Several other stakeholders, including Vice Chancellor Jacob Opadeyi, UG Registrar Vincent Alexander, Deputy Vice Chancellor Phillip DaSilva, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, Opposition leader David Granger, Alliance for Change (AFC) leader Khemraj Ramjattan, AFC Executive Moses Nagamootoo, Solicitor General Sita Ramlall. House Speaker Raphael Trotman, Presidential Advisor on Governance Gail Teixeira, attorney-at-law James Bond and Senior Counsel Bryn Pollard have been invited.
The symposium will take place today at 16:00 hrs in the Education Lecture Theatre (ELT) of the University of Guyana (UG). It is being held under the theme: ‘The Future of Legal Education in the Caribbean Community’.
Moot Court Guyana is a recently-launched organisation under UG’s Faculty of Law. The members are hoping the discourse generated today will assist in the formulation of short, medium and/or long-term solutions to the ongoing issue.