Govt putting ‘cart before the horse’ – Nandlall

first_imgGovernment’s proposed plan to establish a law school here has been questioned since there are concerns over whether the process being used is the right one, and if on establishing this school, Guyanese will have a recognised qualification to practise law throughout the Caribbean.Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said the issue was a straightforward one that has been made ambiguous, complex and confusing by the alleged lies being peddled by his successor, Basil Williams, who has, in fact, given several different statements regarding the same issue.One major concern for Nandlall is the move taken by Williams to proceed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with what he described as two unrecognised institutions.The former AG told Guyana Times that he believes Williams also misrepresented to Cabinet that he obtained permission from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to establish a law school in Guyana.“I believe that he didn’t even know that he had to have permission from CLE. When I pointed that out to him through the press publicly, he said yes. That’s the first lie he told. Now to cover up that lie, he has been lying consistently and persistently ever since,” Nandlall opined.In fact, the CLE did indicate that Guyana was not granted permission although the Attorney General declared several times that Guyana did obtain permission in 2017.Nandlall said this was a clear case of Government putting the “cart before the horse”.Williams has attacked CLE Chairman Reginald Armour, claiming that he (Armour) responded to a request from Nandlall to have the matter of Guyana establishing a law school put on the CLE agenda.In his defence, Nandlall said he did write the CLE Chairman questioning him whether he was aware that Guyana was establishing a law school. The former Minister also sought to find out whether permission was granted and whether the CLE had in fact authorised Guyana to establish such a law school.“The CLE responded to me and said we are surprised as you are, because we haven’t given any permission. And we (CLE) are the regulatory body in relation to setting up law schools,” Nandlall told this publication, explaining that is how the matter was discussed at the CLE meeting.The former Minister said it was not his intention to block any development that Government may seek but to ensure that if a law school was established here, students would be able to get a recognised qualification.He said, “I suppose the feasibility study will answer a few questions in relation to whether there is a need for such a school, what is the extent and nature of the need that will determine the capacity… or whether there is need for a law school, the programmes and qualifications,” he added.Nandlall maintains that if Government is going about establishing a law school, then it should be done in stages.While the AG has named Guyana’s committee for the setting-up of the law school, he said he was not yet ready to inform the CLE.Government announced in January 2017 it would start a project to establish the JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas. This school is being established through a public-private partnership entered into between the Government of Guyana, the Law School of the Americas (LCA) and the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), and will add to the existing options available to holders of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB).last_img read more