Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards said the Judiciary is proactive and has taken efforts to educate judicial officers on how to deal with the gamut of legal issues that may arise in the Oil and Gas industry.
Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag).
Speaking recently with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Justice Cummings-Edwards said that to date there have been two training sessions facilitated by an oil and gas expert who lectures at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
A joint ‘Bench and Bar’ two-day seminar is slated for March 2018, which will focus on the legal and regulatory framework of the Oil and Gas industry and other topics such as the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), the Petroleum Commission Bill and other related matters.
According to the Acting Chancellor, continuing legal education is an important feature of the Judiciary and its efforts to ensure efficiency.
In this vein, the Annual Judges’ Conference was re-introduced and a Magistrates’ Conference introduced.
The annual events take the form of weekend retreats where the judges and magistrates are exposed to professional development courses and are given the opportunity to discuss matters affecting the Judiciary and how these can be effectively resolved.
“We also bring in experts…consultants to be part of the sessions as well as we have a psychologist and coaches helping us to deal with stress, as you know at the end of the day it [profession] could be stressful,” Justice Cummings-Edwards said.
Mediation is another critical focus area for the Judiciary since numerous matters are settled during this process.
“Even in our consideration and dismissal exercise that we had, we were able to send five cases to mediation and they were successful,” she noted.
Importantly too, the Acting Chancellor informed that the Canadian-based Jurist Project is providing training for Guyanese mediators and through this project, Verbatim Recording Units will be established.
Justice Cummings-Edwards highlighted that Judges usually record evidence in ‘long hand’, hence the establishment of these units will allow the swifter disposal of cases.
By: Stacy Carmichael
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