KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday December 19, 2017 – The Andrew Holness- led Cabinet in Jamaica has given approval for the establishment of a law school at the University of Technology (UTech).
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid says this will allow for more trained and certified persons in the legal profession and can position the country to become a hub in providing services in knowledge process outsourcing and legal process outsourcing – which forms part of the Government’s position of expanding opportunities for education and training of the workforce.
Currently, UWI graduates with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree gain automatic entry into the programme at Norman Manley Law School. That is facilitated by Article Three of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Students earning LLB degrees from other institutions must sit an entrance test and earn a passing grade, which does not guarantee admission.
Reid pointed out that the Norman Manley Law School is unable to accommodate all students who have been pursuing law degrees.
“I am quite aware of the agreement with CARICOM for the establishment of the Norman Manley Law School and its particular and special relationship with the University of the West Indies (UWI), so for us to change that arrangement to allow equity in access to the Norman Manley Law School, we will have to go back and have some amendments to the Treaty of Chaguaramas. That’s one option,” the Education Minister explained.
“So, although Cabinet is minded to pursue that option, the University of Technology has said that they are not necessarily pursuing that. What they would prefer is to have their own law school, and to that Cabinet has expressed its affirmative position.”
The UTech president, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, said steps will be taken immediately to establish the law school.
“We hope that we can begin in September of the coming year to take our first batch of law school students,” he said.
“I am elated. It is something that I have pushed for quite some time, and members of the Faculty of Law and of the University, generally, are very happy to hear this news.”