Aspiring attorney loses law schools’ challenge at CCJ

first_imgThe legal challenge alleging that the Law Schools’ admissions process discriminates against holders of non-University of the West Indies (UWI) law degrees was dismissed on Friday in a judgement delivered at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).The Council of Legal Education was established in 1971 by the Agreement Establishing the Council of Legal Education and operates three law schools in the Region – the Norman Manley Law School, the Hugh Wooding Law School and the Eugene Dupuch Law School.These law schools award a Legal Education Certificate and the Agreement provides that no person can be admitted in the signatory countries to practice asJason Jonesan Attorney who does not hold this certificate.However in July 2018, Jason Jones filed an application for special leave against the Council of Legal Education (CLE), the Council for Social and Human Development (COHSOD), and the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).Jones, a national of Trinidad and Tobago, holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London, a Master of Laws in Oil and Gas Law, and a Graduate Diploma in Law. In 2015 and 2016 he, sat the law schools’ entrance examinations but was unsuccessful on both attempts. He paid the requisite fees for the examination in 2017 but did not sit the exam, as he stated that he was “too disenchanted and discouraged with the entire process”.Jones contended that the proposed defendants have infringed, and continue to infringe, his rights and benefits under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which speaks to the free movement of skilled nationals and acceptance of qualification among member states, because, without a Legal Education Certificate, he is not entitled to practice law in the region.In its decision on Friday, the CCJ considered the objection raised that the Court had no jurisdiction over the CLE. It noted that the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which was made in 2001, after the Agreement establishing the Council, makes no mention of the CLE or the Agreement.Furthermore, the Court noted that the CLE was not a principal organ of the Community and that it did not even enjoy the status of an institution or associated institution of the Community and as such proceedings could not be commenced against the CLE as an institution of Community.In view of these considerations, the Court dismissed the present application for special leave but left it open for the applicant to decide whether, and how, to seek the redress he claims.last_img

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