Law Reform Commission to be appointed soon – Nandlall

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has said that once the current legislation regarding the Law Reform Commission is taken to the Parliament and amended accordingly, the Government would move immediately to appoint the members of the Commission.
“I have spoken a lot about the Law Reform Commission; it will be soon appointed,” Nandlall said during a recent programme he hosted on his social media page.
According to Nandlall, the Ministry has proposed a few amendments to the current Act, which was passed under the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration to make the Commission more broad-based.
He explained that the amendments being proposed would make the Commission more representative of the society as it would be constituted with persons who have been trained in different disciplines “so that you don’t have a Commission only of legally-trained minds, which was what the original Commission would have been under the current legislative framework”.
The Attorney General expressed that the Commission would represent a wider cross-section of society and could treat with matters that were technically legal as well as other areas such as social and fiscal legislation.
Such a commission, he argued, would be far better equipped to discharge the functions of a law reform commission as against one that comprises only legally-trained persons.
The Law Reform Commission seeks to reform and modernise Guyana’s laws –the majority of which were inherited from its colonial masters and were long overdue for review.
The APNU/AFC Government had established the Law Reform Commission Act, but failed to set up the Commission. In fact, Nandlall had revealed that the former Government splurged approximately $98.3 million on the Law Reform Commission with nothing to show for the spending.
Millions of dollars were spent on the rental of a building to house the Commission, payment of staff, and other costs.
When the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government took office in August, Nandlall had promised to move swiftly in setting up the Commission, but before doing so, the glaring deficiencies in the Act would need to be corrected.
“The Act, for example, does two things that are offensive. First, it resides in the President the power to appoint the entire Commission, consulting only with the Minister. We feel that that is bad. A Law Reform Commission represents the wider society, and therefore, consultations must be had with the Private Sector, labour movement and religious community among others,” Nandlall had noted.
Under the current law, only legally-trained persons are allowed to be part of the Commission. Nandlall had contended that that stance represented a “very myopic” view of what a Law Reform Commission should be.