Introduction to Jamaica
White sand beaches, tropical forests and unique wildlife with the friendly island population are what most people think of when they think of the island of Jamaica. Jamaica is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and a major player in the Caribbean economy. It sits 191 kilometers west of Hispaniola and is hem to the Taino people. It is an increasingly diverse community, settled first by the Spanish and then the British before gaining independence in 1962. Today it draws immigrants from around the world who want to enjoy the island lifestyle.
As a tropical island, Jamaica is known for its rich and diverse ecosystem. It has many species found nowhere else in the world, including the Jamaican hutia and the Jamaican slider turtle. It is a picturesque island filled with friendly people, making it a popular place for international students to pursue their degrees.
What Is the Law System in Jamaica?
Jamaica follows the common law system which is based largely on the system that originated in England. In fact, the legal system in Jamaica was inherited from England and largely follows the same practices as the system currently used in the United Kingdom. Under this system, the courts have significant power. Jamaica's court decisions are binding authority for similar cases in the future, provided the courts are equal to or lower than the deciding court.
Study Law in Jamaica
What Is a Law Degree in Jamaica?
Students who wish to practice law in Jamaica must first complete a first year degree (Bachelor's Degree) in law from a university. Then they must complete further training to receive the Certificate of Legal Education from a law school in Jamaica or one of the nearby islands.
Law Higher Education in Jamaica
A Bachelor of Laws degree in Jamaica requires three years for fulltime students and four years for part-time students. This is followed by law school training, which takes two years for those who have the undergraduate degree earned in Jamaica. Students who have already been admitted to practice Common Law in another country can apply to a six month programme to earn the Certificate of Legal Education to practice in Jamaica.
The cost for law school and undergraduate law training will vary depending on the university chosen. Earning a law degree in Jamaica will open the door to a legal career in Jamaica and the surrounding Caribbean islands. Because Jamaica's law training is in common law, it can also provide opportunities to practice in England and other European countries, often with minimal additional training or certification.
The academic year in Jamaica for law students is broken into three terms. The first runs from September through December and spans 14 weeks. The second runs from January through March and runs 11 weeks. The third runs from April through May and runs seven weeks. Undergraduate degree program have two semesters, running from August through December and January through May, and a summer session from May through July.
Studying in Jamaica gives the student the chance to study law on a tropical island. Because the legal education is in Common Law, it also provides flexible employment opportunities after graduation. Jamaica's law degree programs are still in their infancy, but they are excellent opportunities and provide their students with a quality education.