New modernistic laws will form balance in justice system – Nandlall
…as US assisting Guyana to strengthen justice sector
Recognising that Government has been ‘churning out’ legislation since it entered office, Attorney General Anil Nandlall has shared that such modern laws would create the necessary balance in the delivery of justice.
The Legal Affairs Ministry, in partnership with the United States’ Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), recently collaborated for the Guyana Asset Recovery Workshop.
It was designed to develop and implement multi-agency asset recovery best practices.
Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, in his address, underscored that Government has been taking strides with the introduction of new bills to ensure the judicial system is equipped to meet new challenges.
“As independent as it is of the Executive, we have been partnering with the Judiciary to ensure that it is not only properly resourced, but also that the Judiciary is engaged in constant training, so that our Judges and Magistrates are equipped to meet the new and dynamic challenges,” he said.
“The Judiciary has been partnering with the National Center for State Courts in a multiplicity of engagements, all designed to bring greater efficiency, speed, and deliver a quality of justice and a quality of legal services that we can all be proud of. At the level of the Government, we continue to churn out legislation after legislation with commendable speed,” he added.
He pointed to the Bail Bill legislation in the pipeline, touting it as advanced, modern, and striking a balance between the presumption of innocence and the protection of the public against a miscreant.
“The law of bail requires a balance of those competing interests. I believe that the Bail Bill strikes a balance in the most modern expression,” said Nandlall.
With this piece of legislation, the confinement period which currently stands at 72 hours will be changed to 24 hours.
He also acknowledged the Restorative Justice Bill that will be tabled, regarding it as another modern concept that is not institutionally known to Guyana’s system, but is advanced in other jurisdictions.
“Here, we’re advocating, by this law, a softer sociological and psychological approach to crime and criminality; where, while the criminal administration of justice is ongoing, social officers suitably trained will then go into the background of that defendant, to explore what might have contributed to the criminal conduct,” he explained.
“Justice is not a one-way street, but a two-way street. The interest of the victim of the crime, the interest of the state, and the interest of the public are all important, as important as the interest of the defendant or the accused person,” the AG contended.
The AG added that the Guyana Police Force is undergoing a myriad of training to enhance investigative capabilities, particularly in emerging technological domains.
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, told stakeholders during the workshop that this is an ideal partnership to strengthen current resources while elevating response to crimes.
“We will forge and strengthen partnerships, share best practices, and strengthen our response to serious transnational as well as financial crimes…The United States aims to help strengthen the capacity of the justice sector to respond effectively to criminal activity, and ensure citizen security,” the diplomat shared. (G12)