Legal Education Certificate

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In the Commonwealth Caribbean, a Legal Education Certificate is a professional certification awarded to a person who has completed a course of study and training at a law school established by the Council of Legal Education. It was created by Articles 4 and 5 of the 1970 Agreement Establishing the Council of Legal Education.[1]

Awarding institutions[edit]

There are three law schools which are empowered to award LECs: the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica, the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Eugene Dupuch Law School in The Bahamas. In general, LL.B. graduates of the University of the West Indies are entitled to automatic admission to the above law schools, whereas others must take an entrance examination.[2] Another agreement allows University of Guyana graduates to bypass the entrance exam as well. This exemption only applies to Guyanese nationals. In 2010, Solicitor-General of Belize Oscar Ramjeet lobbied for the exemption to be extended to Belizeans.[3]

An LEC allows its holder to be admitted to practise law in any country or territory which is a signature to the agreement. In general, no person who does not hold an LEC may be so admitted. The original agreement exempted persons who were qualified to practise law on or before 1 October 1971, or who were undergoing a course of study leading to a qualification which would have enabled them to practise law before that date and who completed that course before 1 January 1980.[1] A supplementary agreement in September 1984 extended the transitional period, and also provided for separate principals for each of the law schools empowered to award LECs.[4]

Signatory countries, territories, and organisations[edit]

1970 agreement[1] 1984 supplement[4]
Country, territory, or organisation Country or organisation Representative Date Location
 Antigua  Antigua and Barbuda Keith Ford 19 September 1984 St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
 Bahamas  The Bahamas P. L. Adderley 23 September 1984 Miami, Florida, United States
 Barbados  Barbados Louis Tull 14 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica
 British Honduras  Belize George Brown 19 September 1992 Kingston, Jamaica
 British Virgin Islands  British Virgin Islands Non-signatory
 Cayman Islands  Cayman Islands Non-signatory
 Dominica  Dominica Ronan David 14 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica
 Grenada  Grenada Dennis R. M. Lambert 15 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica
 Guyana  Guyana Mohammed Shahabuddeen 15 September 1984 Georgetown, Guyana
 Jamaica  Jamaica Winston Spaulding 14 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica
 Montserrat  Montserrat Non-signatory
 Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla  Saint Kitts and Nevis Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton 20 September 1984 Basseterre, Saint Kitts
 Anguilla Non-signatory
 Saint Lucia  Saint Lucia Non-signatory
 Saint Vincent  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Non-signatory
 Trinidad and Tobago  Trinidad and Tobago Russel Martineau 14 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica
University of Guyana University of Guyana George Walcott 10 October 1984 Georgetown, Guyana
University of the West Indies University of the West Indies Aston Preston 14 September 1984 Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Belize did not join the 1984 supplement initially, but eventually signed it later. It was a signatory to the 1970 agreement as "British Honduras".[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Agreement Establishing the Council of Legal Education". Caribbean Community Secretariat. 1970. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  2. ^ CARICOM: our Caribbean community. Ian Randle Publishers. 2005. Retrieved 2012-07-30. 
  3. ^ "GOB wants level field for Law Students in Jamaica". The Belize Reporter. 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  4. ^ a b c "Supplemental Agreement in Relation to the Council of Legal Education". Caribbean Community Secretariat. September 1984. Retrieved 2012-07-30.