Hugh Wooding Law School application process cemented legitimate expectation of entry
I refer to an article captioned `UG law graduates to play second fiddle to UWI’s’ published in the Sunday Stabroek, May 18, 2014 in which commentary is attributed to yours truly and which I stand by. I humbly ask that the following be added for a broader discussion still on the subject matter.
Mid April our learned Head of the University of Guyana (UG) Department of Law Mr. Sheldon McDonald sought opportunity to inform media present at a handing over of law texts to the UG Library by the KIVO Foundation that:
“The spin that is being placed on the current situation as regards the (UG law) students who are going to Law School is slightly unfortunate. The Attorney General (Hon. Anil Nandlall) has announced that the Heads of Government have taken a decision on the issue that was taken to them by the
Government of Guyana. It is a decision of the highest order of the Community determining certain actions from the Council for Legal Education (CLE), a creature of the Community. The Chairman of the Community, the Honorable Dr.
Ralph Gonsalves carried out those instructions yet we still see bylines like
‘UG students still in limbo’”.
Given the trajectory of Stabroek News reporting and the new developments reported on this situation I wonder whether the Caricom Community has entered into a new phase of how organs, “creature(s) of the Community” engage the Community on matters that have been “determined” by the Community.
Secondly, it is my humble submission that even though in the regular order of business the CLE’s arrangement with UG for the top 25 law graduates was only granted a year’s extension to cover the previous year and would have self- determined in 2014, the conduct of LEC/UWI/HWLS by the decision by the CLE to determine the automatic placements in February of 2014 was unreasonable under the pervading circumstance.
I humbly submit that after the application process to Hugh Wooding Law School was opened to all, including UG law graduates it created legitimate expectation that the arrangement of automatic placements would subsist and those successful at the Entrance Examinations also would be allowed admittance.
Additionally, the open and close of the application process; duly responded to by UG students, as well created and cemented a legitimate expectation that those applications would be considered on the merits of Grade Point Average (GPA) and Entrance Examination grades and not on the basis of space as is the present conundrum with a preference for UWI law graduates first.
One wonders if there is not a series of injustices being meted out here and whether by their conduct the CLE is estopped from denying UG graduates admittance only on the bases on space when the long standing practice is to judge the applications based on GPA attained and Entrance Examination grades.
Sherod Avery Duncan
Student-at-Law, Class of 2014
President, UGSS, 2009-2010