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Last news update: 16 April, 2024
Farewell to the Honourable Justice (ret’d) Dr. Desiree Patricia Bernard, O.R., C.C.H.

The following statement was issued by the clinic on learning of the death of Justice Desiree Bernard:

The Guyana Legal Aid Clinic was deeply saddened to learn of Justice Bernard's death on 28 March 2024.

Among Justice Bernard's numerous firsts - first female puisne judge, judge of appeal, Chief Justice and Chancellor of Guyana and one of the first judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice - was that she was the first chairperson of the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic.

Justice Bernard was a founder member of the clinic and chairperson from its establishment in February 1993 until May 2001, when she left to join the bench of the CCJ.

She guided the clinic through its early years with the same wisdom, composure and commitment to the rule of law that she always exhibited on the various benches on which she sat.

She remained a member of the clinic until her death.

The clinic extends deepest sympathy to Justice Bernard's family and friends.

Our attorneys - farewell to Ms. Sasha Roberts and Ms. Michelle Matthias and welcome to Ms. Tifaine Rutherford

Both Ms. Roberts and Ms. Matthias left the Clinic in February 2024 after over 12 and 4 years respectively with us. Ms. Tifaine Rutherford joined the Clinic on 4 March 2024.

Our attorneys - farewell to Ms. Darshanie Lall and welcome to Ms. Fancius Gittens
Ms. Darshanie Lall left the Clinic at the end of December 2023 after over 4 years with us and Ms. Fancius Gittens joined the Clinic on 15 January 2024.

Our attorneys - farewell to Ms. Niketa Edwards and welcome to Ms. Kerri Brusch and Ms. Abigail Manbodh
Ms. Niketa Edwards left the clinic at the end of August 2023 after nearly 5 years with us.

Ms. Kerri Brusch and Ms. Alicia Manbodh joined the clinic on 9 October 2023.

Congratulations to Ms. Reanna McGarrell, first recipient of the Ashton Chase Prize for Labour Law
The clinic has established a prize In memory of the late Ashton Chase, OE, SC, to be awarded to the best University of Guyana student in labour law.

As with the Miles Greezes Fitzpatrick Prize for Legal Aid, the prize is books of the recipient's choice to the cost of USD500

Ms. McGarrell was identified as the first recipient of the prize by Professor Kenneth Benjamin, Head of the Department of Law at UG. A date for the formal presentation of the books chosen by Ms. McGarrell is to be scheduled.

Change in the board of directors
Ms. Odessa James replaced Ms. Kimbely Yearwood as the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers representative on the board in September 2023.

Congratulations to Ms. Cassandra Jaikaran, fifth recipient of the Miles Greezes Fitzpatrick Prize for Legal Aid
Ms. Jaikaran was identified by the Hugh Wooding Law School as the best graduating student in legal aid for the 2022-2023 academic year. A date for the formal presentation of the books (up to the cost of USD500) chosen by Ms. Jaikaran as her prize is to be scheduled.

Farewell to Mr. Ashton Chase OE, SC
The clinic shared the nation's sadness at the death of Mr. Ashton Chase on 10 July 2023.

The following statement was issued by Chairperson Mr. Bishwa Panday on behalf of the clinic:
The Guyana Legal Aid Clinic notes with sadness and a profound sense of loss, the passing of leading Senior Counsel and former director and chairperson of the clinic, Mr. Ashton Chase OE, SC. Ashton was a founder member and director from February, 1993 and chairperson from May, 2001 to November, 2017. He was also director of the Guyana Legal Aid Center which functioned from the early 1970s to February, 1983. During his stewardship at legal aid, he was always regular and punctual in his attendance at meetings and particularly when he became chairman, was very meticulous with the details of the meetings. In interviews where he sat as chairperson of the appointments subcommittee, he took great pains to inform lawyers that although we were running a legal aid clinic and many of the persons visiting were from poor or challenged backgrounds, they must always strive to treat them with dignity and respect, no different than if they were able to employ private counsel. The legal profession has lost one of its greatest ever practitioners and is much poorer for his passing. On behalf of myself and colleague directors, and the staff of the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic, I convey deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues.



Congratulations to Mr. Reon Miller, fourth recipient of the Miles Greezes Fitzpatrick Prize for Legal Aid
Mr. Miller was identified by the Hugh Wooding Law School as the best graduating student in legal aid for the 2021-2022 academic year. A presentation of the books chosen by Mr. Miller as his prize will be held at the clinic's Georgetown office towards the end of January 2023.

Welcome to Ms. Shaunessy Profitt
Ms. Profitt joined the clinic in August 2022 and is based at the Georgetown office.

Canadian Bar Association Virtual Internships
We are grateful to Ms. Ruby Lau and Ms. Adebola Adebayo for their interest in doing 5 month internships with the clinic from July to December 2022 and August 2022 to January 2023 respectively. They assisted with the clinic's day to day work and collaborated on producing draft legal aid legislation.

Congratulations to Ms. Chandanie Dyal, third recipient of the Miles Greezes Fitzpatrick Prize for Legal Aid
Ms. Dyal was identified by the Hugh Wooding Law School as the best graduating student in legal aid for the 2020-2021 academic year. Due to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, a presentation was held at the clinic's Georgetown office on 22 June 2022, at which the books chosen by Ms. Dyal were presented to her by Ms. Sultana Fitzpatrick, the widow of Miles Greeves Fitzpatrick.

Changes in the board of directors
Ms. Kimbely Yearwood joined the board in September 2021 as the new representative of the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers, and Dr. Cona Husbands in October 2022 as the new representative of the Ministry of Human Services & Social Security.

News archive 2022