Council of Legal Education Act


Published: 2000-03-14

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Council of Legal Education Act
COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION [CH.47 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION
CHAPTER 47

COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Certain provisions of the Agreement given force of law in The Bahamas.
4. Minister may amend Schedule.
5. Exemption from income tax and stamp duty.

SCHEDULE – Agreement Establishing the Council of Legal Education.



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CHAPTER 47

COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION
An Act to give effect to the Council of Legal Education

Agreement.
[Assent 13th March, 2000]

[Commencement 14th March, 2000]
1. This Act may be cited as the Council of Legal

Education Act, 2000.
2. In this Act —
“the Agreement” means the Agreement for the

establishment of a Council of Legal Education for
the Caribbean region the original of which
Agreement is deposited with the Secretary-
General of the Commonwealth Caribbean Re-
gional Secretariat and of which the text of the
Articles is set out in the Schedule to thisAct;

“Minister” means the Minister for the time being
charged with responsibility for legal education.

3. (1) Subject to subsection 2 the provisions of clause
2 (legal status) of Article 1, Articles 5 and 6 and clause 6
(exemptions from taxation) of Article 9 of the Agreement
shall have the force of law in The Bahamas.

(2) Nothing contained in subsection (1) shall derogate
from the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, 1992
relating to the qualification for admission to practise as a
counsel and attorney in The Bahamas, which provisions
shall remain in effect until such time as the Governor-
General shall appoint by notice in the Gazette.

4. (1) Where any amendment of the Agreement is
accepted by the Government, the Minister may by order
amend the Schedule to this Act for the purpose of
including therein the amendment so accepted.

12 of 2000

Short title.

Interpretation.

Schedule.

Certain provi-
sions of the
Agreement given
force of law in
The Bahamas.

Minister may
amend Schedule.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Any order made under this section may contain
such consequential, supplemental or ancillary provisions as
appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the
purpose of giving effect to the said amendment and,
without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may
contain provisions amending references in this Act to
specific provisions of the Agreement.

(3) Where the Schedule to this Act is amended
pursuant to this section, any reference in this Act or in any
other enactment or any instrument having effect under any
such enactment to the Agreement shall, unless the context
otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to the
Agreement as so amended.

5. (1) The Council of Legal Education shall be
exempt from direct taxation upon or against its earnings.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary con-
tained in any enactment, any deed, agreement, instrument,
insurance policy, writing or receipt relating to any loan
made to or by the Council under this Act shall be exempt
from stamp duty and recording and registration fees.

(3) There shall be exempt from taxation under the
Stamp Act any transfer by the Council of property
belonging to it or ofany right or interest created in, over or
otherwise with respect to any such property.

(4) The Council of Legal Education shall be exempt
from the payment of all custom duties on goods imported
for its official use into The Bahamas.

SCHEDULE (Sections 2 and 4)

AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE COUNCIL OF LEGAL
EDUCATION

THE CONTRACTING PARTIES:
SHARING a common determination to establish without delay

a scheme for legal education and training that is suited to the needs of
the Caribbean;

AWARE that the objectives of such a scheme of education and
training should be to provide teaching in legal skills and techniques as
well as to pay due regard to the impact of law as an instrument of
orderly social economic change;

Exemption from
income tax and
stamp duty.

Ch. 370.

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CONVINCED that such a scheme of education and training
can best be achieved by —

Firstly, a University course of academic training in a Faculty
of Law designed to give not only a background of general legal
principles and techniques but an appreciation of relevant social
science subjects including Caribbean history and contemporary
Caribbean affairs;

Secondly, a period of further institutional training directed
towards the study of legal subjects, having a practical content and
emphasis, and the acquisition of the skills and techniques required
for the practice of law;

RECOGNISING the need to vest responsibility for providing
the institutional training in a Regional Council of Legal Education
which should be established in advance of students being admitted
to the Faculty of Law so as to give assurance that the whole scheme
for legal education will be implemented in its entirety;

HEREBY AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

ARTICLE 1
Constitution

There shall be a Council of Legal Education (hereinafter called
“the Council”) with the following membership, status, functions
and powers:
1. Membership.

(a) The Council shall consist of:
(i) The Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University

of the West Indies and another member of the
faculty nominated by him;

(ii) The Principals of the Law Schools;
(iii) The Head of the Judiciary of each participating

territory;
(iv) The Attorney-General of each participating terri-

tory;
(v) From each of the four participating territories in

which there are now two branches of the legal
profession, namely Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad
and Tobago and Guyana, a Barrister and a
Solicitor nominated by their appropriate profes-
sional bodies, or in the event of the two branches
of the profession at any time becoming fused in
any such territory two members of the fused
profession nominated by their appropriate profes-
sional body;

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(vi) From each of the other participating territories
one member of the profession nominated by the
appropriate professional body.

(b) Each member of the Council appointed under
paragraphs (v) and (vi) of clause (a) above shall hold
office for three years from the date of his appointment
and shall be eligible for reappointment. The effective
date of appointment of members under the said
paragraphs (v) and (vi) shall be the date on which the
Council is notified of the appointment.

(c) Each member of the Council may be represented by an
alternate to be appointed, in the case of (i) above by the
Dean, in the case of (ii), (iii) and (iv) by the member
himself and in the case of (v) and (vi) by the body
represented by the member.

(d) A casual vacancy, however, occurring in the case of a
member appointed under (v) and (vi) may be filled by
the body appointing such member and the person
appointed to fill such casual vacancy shall hold office
for the remainder of the period of the appointment of
the member whose place he fills.

(e) Any committee of the Council shall have the power to
co-opt such person or persons as it thinks fit.

2. Legal Status.
The Council shall possess full juridical personality and, in
particular, full capacity —
(a) to contract;
(b) to acquire, and dispose of movable and immovable

property; and
(c) to institute and defend legal proceedings.

3. Functions and Powers.
The functions and the powers of the Council shall be as follows:
(a) to undertake and discharge general responsibility for

the practical professional training of persons seeking
to become members of the legal profession;

(b) to establish, equip and maintain Law Schools, one in
Jamaica, one in Trinidad and Tobago and in such
other territories as the Council may from time to time
determine, for the purpose of providing post graduate
professional legal training;

(c) to appoint a Principal of each Law School and all
necessary staff;

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(d) to make proper provision for courses of study and
practical instruction, for the award of scholarships,
studentships, bursaries, and prizes, and for holding
examinations and granting diplomas and certificates;

(e) to evaluate courses of study provided by and to accord
appropriate recognition of legal qualifications obtained
at other institutions;

(f) in the exercise of any of the above functions or powers
to enter into any such agreements with the University
of the West Indies, and the University of Guyana as the
Council shall think fit;

(g) to appoint Committees of the Council and to delegate to
any such Committee such of its powers as the Council
shall think fit provided that the Council shall nevertheless
maintain overall responsibility for co-ordinating training
throughout the area on a planned and integrated basis
paying due regard to the needs of the several participating
territories;

(h) to make regulations for the due discharge of its
functions, for the courses and examinations at the Law
Schools, and for prescribing fees to be paid and
disciplinary rules to be observed by persons admitted
to the Law Schools and, subject to the provisions of
Articles 7 and 8, to regulate its own procedures;

(i) to do all such other acts and things whether incidental
to the powers aforesaid or not as may be requisite in
order to further the objects of the Council.

ARTICLE 2
Principals of Law Schools

The Principal of each Law School shall be responsible to
the Council for the organisation and administration of the Law
School and for the courses of study and practical instruction and
shall exercise such other functions of the Council as the Council
may, from time to time, entrust to him.

ARTICLE 3
Admission to Law Schools

Every person who holds a University of the West Indies LL.B.
degree shall be eligible for admission to the Law Schools and every
person who holds a degree of a University or Institution which is
recognised by the Council as being equivalent to the University of


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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

the West Indies LL.B. degree shall, subject to the availability of
places and to such conditions (if any) as the Council may require,
be eligible for admission to the Law Schools: Provided that any
national who prior to 1st October, 1972 was the holder of a
University Degree or had commenced upon a degree programme
other than in law and completed that programme before 1st
October, 1975, shall be eligible to be admitted to one of the
Professional Law Schools without being required to obtain a degree
of LL.B. from the University of the West Indies or a Law Degree
recognised by the Council of Legal Education as equivalent thereto
but subject to such other terms and conditions as the Council of
Legal Education shall after consultation with the Faculty of Law of
the University of the West Indies determine.

ARTICLE 4
Legal Education Certificate

1. On the satisfactory completion by any person of the
course of study and professional training at one of the Law Schools
established by the Council that person shall be awarded by the
Council a certificate herein referred to as a Legal Education
Certificate.

2. Any person to whom paragraph 1(b) of Article 6 does not
apply and who —
(a) has obtained a degree of a University or Institution which is

recognised by the Council as equivalent to the University
of the West Indies LL.B. degree; and

(b) (i) is the holder of a qualification which had it been
obtained prior to 1st October, 1972 would have been
recognised by all of the participating territories as a
qualification to be admitted to practise as a barrister or
solicitor in those territories; or

(ii) is the holder of a qualification, obtained in a Common
Law jurisdiction, for admission to practise law in that
jurisdiction and which qualification is approved by the
Council; and

(c) has completed, to the satisfaction of the Council, a six-month
course of training organised by the Council, shall be awarded
by the Council a Legal Education Certificate.

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ARTICLE 5
Admission to Practice

1. The Government of each of the participating territories
undertakes that it will recognise that any person holding a Legal
Education Certificate fulfils the requirements for practice in its
territory so far as institutional training and education are
concerned and that (subject to the transitional provisions
hereinafter contained and to any reciprocal arrangements that any
of the said territories may hereafter make with any other country)
no person shall be admitted to practise in that territory who does
not hold such certificate. But nothing herein contained shall
prevent any territory from imposing additional qualifications as a
condition of admission to practise therein.

2. The foregoing provisions of this Article shall be subject to
the terms of the Protocols to this Agreement which shall have effect
for the purposes specified therein.

ARTICLE 6
Saving and Transitional Provisions

1. The Government of each of the participating territories
agrees that the following persons shall be recognised as profession-
ally qualified for admission to practise in its territory, namely —
(a) any national who is on 1st October, 1972 qualified to be

admitted to practise as a solicitor or a barrister in that territory;
(b) any national who, prior to 1st January, 1985, had undergone or

is undergoing or has been accepted for a course of legal training
leading to a qualification such as is referred to in paragraph
2(b)(i) of Article 4 of this Agreement and obtains that
qualification.
2. In this Article “national” means a person who —

(a) is a citizen of any participating territory; or
(b) is regarded as belonging to any participating territory under

any law in force in that territory.

ARTICLE 7
Council – Procedure

1. The Council shall meet at such time and place as may
from time to time be directed by the Council.

2. The Chairman may, in his discretion, and shall, upon the
written request of five or more members of the Council specifying
the matters to be considered, call a meeting of the Council.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

3. Decisions of the Council and of any Committee of the
Council shall be by a majority of members present and voting and
one third of the members of the Council or of any Committee of the
Council shall be a quorum.

4. Each member shall have one vote. The Chairman of a
meeting in addition to his original vote shall have a casting vote
in the event of any equal division.

5. The Council and any Committee of the Council shall be
competent to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or
any irregularity subsequently discovered in the appointment of its
members.

ARTICLE 8
Council – Chairman

At the first meeting and as required thereafter the Council shall
elect one of its members as Chairman who shall hold office for three
years. The Chairman, if present, shall preside at all meetings of the
Council and in the event of his absence the members present shall
appoint a Chairman.

ARTICLE 9
Financial Provisions

1. The revenue of the Council shall be derived from
contributions from the Governments of the participating
territories, from grants and donations, and from fees payable by
persons admitted to the Law Schools.

2. The Council shall have the power to invest any monies
belonging to it, including any unapplied income, in such stock,
funds, fully paid shares or securities as the Council may from
time to time think fit, whether authorized by the general law for
the investment of trust monies or not, with the like power of
varying such investments from time to time by sale or
reinvestment or otherwise.

3. The Council shall govern, manage and regulate its
finances, accounts, investments, property, business and all its
affairs whatsoever and for that purpose shall have the power to
appoint bankers and any officers or agents whom it may deem
expedient to appoint.

4. The interim expenses of the Council (other than those
relating to the establishment and operation of the Law School) shall
be borne by the Governments of the participating territories in the
same proportion as the interim expenses of the Faculty of Law of
the University of the West Indies. All other expenses relating to the
establishment and operation of the Law Schools shall be considered
by the Governments of the participating territories and their
respective contributions thereto agreed upon at the earliest
practicable date.

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5. (a) The Council shall cause to be kept proper books of
account which shall be audited at least once a year by an auditor
who shall be a qualified and independent Accountant in the active
practice of his profession appointed by the Council, and shall cause
to be prepared not later than three months after the end of each
academic year —
(i) a statement showing in detail the income and expenditure of

the Council for the immediately preceding academic year;
(ii) a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Council as they

stood at the end of the immediately preceding academic year.
(b) Such statements shall be certified by the Auditor

appointed by the Council and as soon as may be thereafter a
copy of each such statement as audited shall be transmitted to
each contracting party.

(c) The Council shall in each year not later than the date
specified in paragraph 5(a)(i) cause to be prepared and
transmitted to each contracting party a report dealing generally
with the activities of the Council.

6. The Council, its assets, property, income and its
operations and transactions, shall be exempt from all direct
taxation and from all custom duties on goods imported for its
official use; this shall not include exemption from taxes which
are no more than charges for public utility services.

ARTICLE 10
Deposit, Ratification and Entry into Force

1. This Agreement shall come into force upon signature or
deposit of letters of ratification or acceptance on behalf of the
University of the West Indies and the University of Guyana and on
behalf of Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

2. This Agreement shall be subject to ratification or
acceptance by the contracting parties. Instruments of ratification
or acceptance shall be deposited by the contracting parties with
the Depository who shall notify the other contracting parties.

3. This Agreement shall be deposited with the Secretary-
General of the Commonwealth Caribbean Regional Secretariat
(herein called the “Depository”).

4. The Depository shall transmit copies of this Agreement to
each contracting party

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

ARTICLE 11
Participation of Territories other than original Signatories

Any of the territories named in Annex “A” hereof (other than
the signatories hereto at the date of the coming into force of this
Agreement) may become parties to this Agreement at such time
and in accordance with such terms as may be determined by the
Council.

ARTICLE 12
Inaugural Meeting

As soon as this Agreement comes into force, the Vice-
Chancellor of the University of the West Indies shall take the
necessary steps to secure the nomination of the members of the
Council specified in Clause 1(a) paragraphs (v) and (vi) of
Article 1 and to convene the Inaugural Meeting of the Council.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned representatives,
being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments or
institutions, have signed the present Agreement.

ANNEX ‘A’ (Article 11)
Antigua
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
The British Virgin Islands
The Cayman Islands
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
Montserrat
St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla
St. Lucia
St. Vincent
Trinidad and Tobago
The Turks and Caicos Islands
The University of the West Indies
The University of Guyana

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PROTOCOL TO PROVIDE FOR THE RESERVATION MADE
BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS TO PARA-
GRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 5 OF THE AGREEMENT ESTAB-

LISHING THE COUNCIL OF LEGAL EDUCATION.
The contracting parties to the Agreement establishing the

Council of Legal Education hereby agree that notwithstanding the
provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 5, the Government of The
Bahamas shall be able to admit to practise in The Bahamas, persons
holding qualifications other than a Legal Education Certificate
awarded by the Council of Legal Education. The Government of
The Bahamas undertakes to review the position within five years of
the coming into force of the Agreement with a view to implement-
ing fully the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 5.

FURTHER PROTOCOL TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADHESION
OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

NOTWITHSTANDING PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 5 OF
THE AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING THE COUNCIL OF

LEGAL EDUCATION.
The contracting parties to the Agreement establishing the

Council of Legal Education hereby agree that notwithstanding the
provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 5, the Government of the
Cayman Islands shall be able to admit to practise in the Cayman
Islands persons holding qualifications other than a Legal Education
Certificate awarded by the Council of Legal Education.

Provided that the Government of the Cayman Islands may,
at any time not later than five years from the date on which that
Agreement entered into force, adhere unconditionally to the full
terms of that Agreement but if, at the conclusion of the said
period of five years, the Government of the Cayman Islands has
not so adhered, it shall cease forthwith to be a participating
Government in the Council of Legal Education.