Aspirants to the Guernsey Bar have continued to attend ‘virtual’ classes at the University of Caen this September to complete their studies for the Certificat d’Études Juridiques Françaises et Normandes.
Obtaining the Certificat is a prerequisite to being admitted as an Advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey. However, for the past two Septembers when local lawyers would typically have travelled to Caen to complete the course, COVID-19 restrictions meant that it was not a realistic or viable option for aspirants to go to France.
As a solution, Carey Olsen stepped forward to offer the use of its video conferencing facilities to the Institute of Law Guernsey, and together with the support of other local law firms, aspirants for the past two years have been able to complete their Caen placement together on-island. Importantly, not only were all local firms and employers of aspirants supportive of the solution offered by Carey Olsen but the University of Caen and lecturer Sophie Poirey were equally pleased and excited to embrace the new Caen experience.
Carey Olsen Guernsey Managing Partner Russell Clark said the firm was proud to have been in a position to support and enable the two most recent cohorts to take the Certificat d’Études Juridiques Françaises et Normandes. “As we came out of the first lockdown last year, but with many restrictions still in place, it became abundantly clear that aspirants would not be able to go over to France to study,” said Russell.
“This was incredibly unfortunate. It is an important part of an aspirant’s education to go to Normandy, study in French and absorb the cultural significance of the Duchy of which we once formed part and that has played such an important role in the development of Guernsey law. Nevertheless, we recognised, together with the Institute of Law Guernsey, that we had to be adaptable and find an alternative offering for those already committed to studying.
“Likewise this year, while the coronavirus considerations were perhaps slightly less, we appreciated that we could continue to offer a successful remote learning experience from Carey House after what we established at such short notice just 12 months prior.”
William Simpson and Gordon Dawes, directors at the Institute of Law Guernsey, said the support was greatly appreciated. “Gordon and I were delighted with the support from Carey Olsen last year and this,” said William.
“Our laws differ from English law and a proper understanding begins with the course offered by the University of Caen. Delivering the course remotely has ensured that the Guernsey Bar continues to respond to the demand for more qualified advocates. We are very grateful to Carey Olsen and to the University for their help again this year.”
The 17 aspirants taking part in the current round of remote learning for the Certificat d’Études Juridiques Françaises et Normandes includes representation from Bedell Cristin, Carey Olsen, Collas Crill, Ferbrache & Farrell, Mourant, Ogier, the States of Guernsey and Walkers.
The photo shows the aspirants to the Guernsey Bar pictured with lecturer Sophie Poirey as they study for the Certificat d’Études Juridiques Françaises et Normandes via video link at Carey House.