Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2017 Contents A4 news
Thursday, September 14, 2017
fees for law
Repeating students of the Council
for Legal Education Hugh Wood-
ing Law School have been slapped
with increased fees which they
did not expect.
But Attorney General Faris Al-
Rawi, who has asked the council
for a report into the matter, is
blaming the former Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar government for the
Former government Min-
ister Devant Maharaj said
affected students had ap-
proached him for assis-
tance after they were told
that they are now expected to
pay TT$90,194.87 plus compul-
sory fees, when previously they
paid TT$12,500 plus compulsory
He said the steep increase was
unexpected and will mean that
local students are paying "the
same fees as those from Dominica,
Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and
the Grenadines and other com-
mon law jurisdictions, while stu-
dents from Barbados and Grenada
will be paying TT$18,038.97."
But Al-Rawi told the T&T Guard-
ian that having made inquiries of
the principal of the Hugh Wooding
Law School he was informed that
"the former government under
Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the
Cabinet of which Devant Maharaj
was a part took a decision to come
in line with other territories, such
that repeating students will be
called upon to pay the full eco-
nomic costs, which government
would usually have subsidised to
the tune of TT$80,000 dollars."
He said, " I have called for this
position to be put into writing and
I am awaiting a written response
from Hugh Wooding."
Al-Rawi said as he understands
it "thirty (30) students at the
Hugh Wooding Law School who
are repeating year one and year
two," are affected.
He said the council met up to
last week here in Trinidad and
Tobago and he had "con irmed
with the chairman of the Coun-
cil of Legal Education SC Regi-
nald Armour and I also
enquired of the AG's rep-
resentative who stood in
at the meeting and none
of us were aware of the
position which it appears
originated from a decision
taken by the former govern-
Al-Rawi said he is now review-
ing the position "as it comes as a
great surprise to me."
He said he intended to hold con-
sultations "to get to the root of the
matter including any mitigation."
Al-Rawi said as soon as he get
detailed communication in writ-
ing he will be in a better position
to "make recommendations and
take an appropriate position."
winding up case
A group of CL Financial (CLF) shareholders
have been barred from making submissions in
opposition to Government's winding up peti-
tion for the company.
High Court judge Kevin Ramcharan dis-
missed an application from CLF majority
shareholder Lawrence Duprey and a group
of minority shareholders, who were seeking
to enter the case before it was due to begin at
the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, yesterday
Ramcharan said that the group was unable to present ev-
idence which showed that the company was not insolvent,
as claimed by the Government.
Within minutes of the decision, Duprey's lawyer Navin-
dra Ramnanan indicated that the rest of his legal team had
almost simultaneously iled a notice of appeal challenging
it.Ramnanan requested that Ramcharan stay the proceed-
ings pending the determination of the appeal, for which
a hearing would be set once it is of icially iled within the
next couple of days.
The suggestion drew immediate objection from the Gov-
ernment's lawyer Deborah Peake, SC, who described their
haste in iling the appeal as remarkable.
"It appears that they came to court today, knowing that
their application was doomed to fail and this is what they
were working on," Peake said.
Ramcharan eventually dismissed the request for the stay
as he suggested that Ramnanan make the application to
the Court of Appeal when the appeal is iled.
As the shareholders' attempt to enter the case occupied
the majority of the hearing, Ramcharan was only able to
listen to brief submissions from Peake on the petition be-
fore he was forced to adjourn the case to Friday
Peake noted that the petition was iled in July
as the Government moved to recoup CLF's $15.6
billion debt, used to bail-out its subsidiary Clico
She stated that in addition to the debt to Gov-
ernment, CLF also owes its subsidiaries and other
creditors over $4 billion.
According to a report from provisional liquidator Marcus
Wide, who was appointed to take control of CLF in July,
the company currently only has $90 million in its manage-
Questioned by Ramcharan over whether the Govern-
ment had agreed a time-line for repayment with CLF when
it signed agreements with it, Peake said no.
She said the Government was still entitled to wind up
the company and sell its assets to repay its creditors, as
it was convinced that it would not be able to change its
inancial position by being allowed to continue to operate.
Carlton Reiss, right, representative of CLF shareholders
stands outside the Hall of Justice after they were denied
participation in the company's winding up petition
PICTURE AYANNA KINSALE
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