Today, the Government of Guyana is to sign a memorandum of understanding with University College of the Caribbean (UCC)/Law College of Americas (LCA) for the “establishment of a public private partnership law school” here.
LCA which is affiliated with UCC and Northumbria University in the UK markets itself as a college which aims to meet the needs of a wide range of students looking to complete a programme for certification in the legal education in the Carib-bean.
Originally registered as the Chancellor Law School of the Americas its website explains that it was established by Dr. Velma May Brown Hamilton with a view to providing legal education to students in the Caribbean extending to Guyana in South America.
While it is speculated that the MOU will enable the LCA to operate in Guyana as an alternative to the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, Stabroek News has been unable to confirm this belief. Efforts to contact Attorney General Basil Williams proved futile and his office would not provide a comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, several members of the legal education fraternity when contacted stated that they were ignorant of the situation.
While they all noted having been made aware that Guyana was exploring alternatives to the Hugh Wooding Law School they were not familiar either with the LAC or any agreement which has been reached between the government and this school.
After a year of uncertainty Guyana was able in September 2016 to secure a guarantee for automatic entry of a quota of 25 eligible University of Guyana (UG) students into the course of training at the law schools operated by the Council for Legal Education in any academic year.
At the 48th meeting of the Council of Legal Education (CLE) in Antigua & Barbuda, a local delegation successfully argued that a clause proposed for the new collaborative agreement between the University of Guyana, the University of the West Indies and the Council of Legal Educa-tion was discriminatory.
Barbara Reynolds, UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor had noted that the proposed clause which offered the Hugh Wooding Law School the right to accept Guyanese only if space was available would place Guyanese students in a “sea of uncertainty.” This objection led to the change noted above and now grants students graduating from the University of Guyana the option of entering the Hugh Wooding Law School, the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica or the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas.
The Law College of Americas (LCA) is not listed as one of the schools offering a course of training at the Law schools as approved by the Council for Legal Education.