The Editorial published in the Kaieteur News of Sunday March 11 contained a number of inaccuracies according to the Guyana Bar Association.
“If the author had sought information from the offices of the Honourable Chancellor of the Judiciary or the Honourable Chief Justice or a member of the planning committee of the Guyana Bar Association, such comments would have been clarified.”
At issue was the contribution of Ms Alicia Elias-Roberts to the recent Oil and Gas Law training Development Conference. The forum was held at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence. Ms Elias-Roberts is the Deputy Dean in the faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus.
In that capacity, she had specific responsibility for the oil and gas programme, which she developed in 2011.
A highly qualified woman, Ms Elias-Roberts is a specialist in Energy and Environmental Law. She is pursuing a doctorate in that field.
The Guyana Bar Association said that she has been the convenor of two highly acclaimed international conferences on oil and gas hosted by UWI.
Ms Elias-Roberts was at a conference in Scotland immediately prior to coming to Guyana on this occasion, the association noted. Due to her expertise, she was recruited to facilitate a session at the Annual Judges’ Conference in 2017.
Because of her excellent presentations at the Judges’ Conference and her experience in planning large conferences, it was considered by Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards, that it would be fitting that she plan a conference in Guyana for the Bench and Bar so that it would benefit a larger number of judicial officers and lawyers, who may not find it possible to travel overseas for such a conference.
“It does appear that the informant or the editor (of Kaieteur News) was only present at the conference in its last hour of the second day for it is noted that the comments about Mrs. Elias-Roberts’s presentation spoke only to this session.
“The editor clearly drew conclusions without reference to the programme content, which was as a result of a collaborative effort of not only the conference training facilitator, Mrs. Elias-Roberts, but of the judiciary through the Hon Chancellor and the Hon Chief Justice and the Bar Council of the Guyana Bar Association.”
The member of the Guyana Bar Association said that excellent presentations on areas related to the legal and regulatory framework, geology, engineering, taxation, petroleum contracts, Guyana’s petroleum sharing agreement, sovereign wealth fund, local content and good governance related to the oil and gas industry were made by Mrs. Elias-Roberts, Ms. Indira Rampaul-Cheddie, MBA, LLM, Senior State Counsel in the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Helena Griffith Geologist and Upstream Energy Expert and Executive Director and Consultant, Kronus Geological Services Ltd., Mr. Trevor James, C.Eng., MIChemE, Engineer and SeniorConsultant, Oil and Gas Project Development, CADPEC Limited UWI, St Augustine, Mr. Roderick Edinboro, LLM, Attorney-at-Law, Senior Tax Attorney, EY Guyana, Mr. Nigel Hughes, LLM, Attorney-at-law, Director, Guyana Oil and Gas Association, Mr. Sanjeev Datadin, LLM (Aberdeen), Attorney-at-law and Mr. Charles Ramson, MSc., Attorney-at-Law, Oil & Gas Consultant, Partner — Abercal Guyana Energy Agency.
Most of these facilitators came at absolutely no cost to the Bench or Bar, he said.
Over 125 lawyers and judicial officers attended the two-day conference, which was deemed a success by participants.
Benjamin Franklin, former American Statesman, is quoted as saying that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” The conference can only be described as having been a sound investment and the feedback received confirms this.
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