The Canadian government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) project appointed three consultants to conduct interviews of key stakeholders in the region for its legal education survey.
The survey, which is now in its final phase, was suggested by the Council of Legal Education to consider the purpose of legal education and revisit the “West Indian System” to see how thinking has changed since it was designed in the 1960s. It will also consider whether the current system of legal education is adequately meeting the needs of the region.
Stage one of the stakeholder’s interviews commenced in The Bahamas on August 17 -19 and moved on to Jamaica (August 19–23), Antigua and Barbuda (August 25-26), Montserrat (August 26–27), St. Kitts and Nevis (August 29–30) and Dominica (August 31 -September 1).
Amongst those interviewed were: attorneys general, ministers of education, deans of faculties of law, principals of law schools, presidents of bar associations and attorneys-at-law in these territories. The consultants are Dr. Adrian Cummins, prominent attorney-at-law from Barbados, Professor Jane Ching, Professor of Professional Legal Education, Nottingham Law School, United Kingdom, and Dr. Noel Watson, CEO of A-Z Information Jamaica Limited.
The second round of interviews is expected to take place in October, with the consultants visiting key stakeholders in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Belize.
Prof. Velma Newton, IMPACT Justice Regional Project Director, stated that the report of the legal education survey will be presented to CARICOM Member States to inform policy making on legal education in the region.