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Chief Justice wants mentoring of young lawyers to be re-introduced

Chief Justice wants mentoring of young lawyers to be re-introduced

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Newly appointed Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Janice Perreira believes that the time has come for the Bar Association to re-introduce mentoring of young lawyers.{{more}}

“The current trend where young lawyers practise on their own without the benefit of a senior to provide legal guidance and transfer of valuable customs and practices has contributed to a decline in professionalism at the bar. The value of mentorship is significant and would assist in maintaining the standards and ethics of the profession,” Perreira observed.

Supporting Perreira’s point, Queen’s Counsel Bertram Commissiong, who also addressed a special sitting at the High Court earlier this week, said “something has gone very wrong in the legal profession and I think it is because of the training we get at the law school…

“We don’t emphasize seniority enough. The junior members of the profession literally flounder as to where they should go … We need a panel of senior lawyers right here in our jurisdiction to help junior lawyers,” Commissiong said.

As a senior lawyer, Commissiong said he has asked the most junior lawyer a question on a point of law when he was unsure about it.

“We need to get into the habit of learning from each other. That does not happen! No one picks up the telephone and says I have a point, how do you think about it? … Inter-communication like that is totally absent in St Vincent, as far as I know. “It doesn’t happen in the jurisdiction in which I practise. In Trinidad, we are always communicating with lawyers; in Guyana was the same thing. I wish the practice could be brought here, because it is really needed.”(KW)

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