What’s the difference, Dear Reader, between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer? A bad lawyer might let a case drag on for several years. A good lawyer knows how to make it last even longer!! Now you might’ve heard that “lawyer” joke before, but today it rang true and hit home about the very womb of the profession: a law school that produces these much-reviled “professionals”. Seems that after twenty years of trying, Guyana might, at long last, have a local law school. And it was delayed just because our various legal guardians of the several governments couldn’t get their act together. And the reason for this?? Well since it involved lawyers, did you have to think too long that money might be involved?!?
During the last Administration Basil Williams – SC, AG, Minister of Legal Affairs but not so incidentally the losingest AG in the history of Guyana – had assured us he’d secured the long-sought-after law school. He’d secured 15 acres of land courtesy of his government and even announced the name – JOF Haynes School of Law – after one of our most illustrious members of the bar!! But he’d gotten some fly-by-night private education operators out of Jamaica to own the school and the Council for Legal Education (CLE) that licenses law schools to issue the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) balked.
They’d never given permission , but Williams insisted THEY were mistaken – even though he couldn’t show any documentation to prove that such approval was ever granted!! Basil brings to mind that old saw: “How does an attorney sleep? Well, first he lies on one side, then he lies on the other”!! Said Basil truculently when the head of CLE told him the school wouldn’t be licensed: “Nobody can’t stop us from building a law school. It’s just that we are community minded, we are founding members of Caricom and we feel that we have a right”!! Well…Basil WAS the losingest AG ever!!
Anyhow, up to now – as far as qualifying our aspiring lawyers, — Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad automatically accepts the top 25 graduates of our UG LLB programme annually – all others have to take the Hugh Wooding Open Exam and wing it on their own. It’s ain’t cheap – costing at least $3 million per semester. The Government offers a few scholarships based on need, performance – and connections!! But your Eyewitness wonders whether when this Law School gets going, we won’t face the American conundrum of too many lawyers – especially when OUR dear land only has three-quarters of a million people??
Which reminds your Eyewitness of the terrorist who hijacked a 747 full of lawyers. He threatened to release one every hour if his demands weren’t met!!
Now that we’ve seen how the country can be united at our Warriors games, doesn’t this challenge the narrative some provocateurs are pushing that we’re actually so divided ethnically there’s an “emerging apartheid state”!! Could people of the different “races” sit together, much less hug and scream together for the South African Cricket team back in the days of apartheid?? Was their cricket team even racially mixed??
Now your Eyewitness isn’t so daft to assert that the fact that cricket is our national mania means we don’t have discrimination and racism in Guyana. There’s no country on Planet Earth where they do not occur. But APARTHEID in Guyana?? This can only occur if there’s WIDESPREAD systemic discrimination to which the law turns a blind eye – even if there are laws prohibiting such discrimination. The only time your Eyewitness saw this widespread denial of basic rights was during the long dictatorship of Burnham when he RIGGED elections and denied mostly Indian Guyanese their basic right to choose their government!!
If the PPP Govt’s an “illegally installed cabal” – as the Opposition is insisting, if they do as that same Opposition demands, would those actions be illegal?? Fruit of the poisoned tree and all that?
Inquiring minds want to know!!