A team from the Bahamas Bar Association last month participated in a training programme at Gray’s Inn, London. Dr. Peter D. Maynard, BBA President, said the programme involved training in advocacy, a segment of law covering effective court room presentations and speaking skills. On return, it is anticipated that the group will launch a local training programme.
Dr. Maynard indicated that this initiative promotes exchanges among professionals in major centres, aiding the objective of maintaining efficiency in the Bahamian legal system.
While in the U.K., the BBA team also planned to examine a certification programme to be offered to Bahamian lawyers. Dr. Maynard sees such a programme as *”another kind of quality control for the public, who will be able to ask lawyers whether they are certified by the Bahamas Bar Association.”* It is anticipated that the certification process will include advocacy as one option.
The BBA sees this initiative as part of a regional advocacy programme for lawyers. Continued Dr. Maynard, *”I am looking at using this as a base to expand to a Caribbean-wide programme.”*
The Bahamas is in the top 25 countries of the world with the highest concentration of lawyers. With a population of just over 300,000 it is estimated that there is a lawyer for every 500 persons.
For local lawyers, membership in the Bahamas Bar Association is mandatory, and open only to Bahamian nationals. Persons of other nationalities may become registered associates, however.