New Magistrate’s Courts to be constructed

The Judiciary of Guyana is inviting eligible bids for the construction of a new Magistrate’s Court at Vigilance on the East Coast of Demerara. Apart from this, in an ad published in the daily newspapers, the Judiciary said it also wants to construct a Magistrate’s Court at Port Kaituma, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), and one at Mabaruma in Region One (Barima-Waini).
The advertisement signed by Registrar of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Sueanna Lovell, stated that bidding for the construction of the courts will be done through the National Competitive Bidding Process specified in the Procurement Act 2003.
According to the advertisement, eligible bidders may obtain further information by contacting the Registrar of the court at Lot 1 Avenue of the Republic and Charlotte Street, Georgetown, from Monday to Friday between working hours.
Bids will be opened on December 1. The Judiciary has been taking steps to ensure that justice is delivered on time regardless of where citizens live by constructing new Magistrate’s Courts, renovating others, opening new Magisterial Districts and appointing new Magistrates.
The Vigilance Magistrate’s Court which houses the head office of the East Demerara Magisterial District is housed in a two-storey wooden building in the compound of the Vigilance Police Station.
This Magisterial District also consists of the Sparendaam, Cove and John, Mahaica and Mahaicony Magistrate’s Court. It was the first court in that district to be equipped with audio-visual recording including a camera, monitors, smart television, microphone, a surround system, a reliable internet connection, and Skype system.
In 2016, the Judiciary demolished the ageing building which had housed the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court which is situated in the compound of the Sparendaam Police Station. The court was re-commissioned in February 2017.
When this was done, its quota of Magistrates increased from one to two. The fully air-conditioned building has washroom facilities, briefing rooms for witnesses, and a prisoners’ holding area, which boosts tight security features such as sturdy grillwork on its lower flat.
In 2017, the Judiciary opened the Upper Demerara Magisterial District – the country’s tenth Magisterial District. Earlier this year, it commissioned the Diamond/Golden Grove Magistrates’ Courts. Before the opening of this court which costs $132 million, the Providence Magistrates’ Courts served the entire East Bank of Demerara corridor from Agricola to Timehri.
Chief Justice Roxane George had explained that due to the rapid development in the Diamond area, to ensure that justice is delivered throughout the country, the Judiciary saw it fit to open a courthouse there. The Judiciary has also commissioned a Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Court and a Children’s Court which are both housed in the same building with the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The Judiciary has been praised for decentralising the magistracy given the country’s geographical layout, which makes travelling and communication very challenging at times.