Govt seeking consultant to review Sexual Offences Act

Government has decided to review the Sexual Offences Act of 2010 in an effort to end sexual assault, and is currently looking for a consultant to help in this regard.
In a recent notice published in the media, the Government has invited bids from individual consulting services to review the Sexual Offences Act and provide recommendations.
This is being done as part support for the Criminal Justice System programme, a collaboration between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Legal Affairs. The programme focuses on two distinct issues in order to alleviate the difficulty of jail-overcrowding conditions: (i) the overreliance by the criminal justice system on custodial sentences; and (ii) the overuse of pre-trial detention.
Interested consultants are required to provide the Legal Affairs Ministry with information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to do the job.
The notice states that consultants would be chosen as per the guidelines outlined in the IDB’s Policies for the Selection and Contracting of Consultants Financed by the IDB, GN-2350-9, and in accordance with the comparison-based standards known as the Qualifications of National Individuals (QCNI) principles.
Details of the consultancy are in the Terms of Reference which can be uplifted via email, or at the Ministry’s Carmichael Street, Georgetown offices.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, stated earlier this year that after the review is finished, the law will be expanded to include areas that are not covered by the Act.
The current legislation details a range of sexual offences, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual activity with a person, and provides definitions for those crimes. Some new crimes reflect social progress, for example: voyeurism and grooming.
The penalties set out in this law are severe, taking into account the gravity of the offences, and are expected to serve as deterrents.
A provision has been laid down in the law enabling Police and the Judiciary to adopt best practices and procedures with a view to ensuring effective enforcement and application of legislation. Audiovisual links for witnesses have been made legal under this Act.
It should also be noted that the Act includes a provision for the rehabilitation of sexual offenders, and for them to register as sex offenders in order to allow authorities to keep track of their activities when they have completed serving their criminal sentences. (G1)