$37.8M Kwakwani Magistrate’s Court, living quarters commissioned
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, MP, on Friday, commissioned a $37.8 million Magistrate’s Court and living quarters in Kwakwani, Region, 10.
Delivering the feature address at the simple ceremony, he said access to justice is an inalienable right to the people of Guyana. The Attorney General said the judiciary is the fundamental pillar on which a modern democratic society stands.
“It is the justice system and the rule of law that protects life itself, that protects our ability to speak, to move, to celebrate and to do some many things that we take for granted,” the Attorney General stated.
He relayed that the setup of courts from a decade ago has changed tremendously, becoming more comfortable for everyone. Those are accomplishments that must not be taken for granted, he noted, adding that today, persons have access to the most modern facilities in the most rural areas.
“When in government we speak about the economic, commercial and infrastructural transformation that is taking place in our country across its every landscape. The same thing is happening in the judiciary as well.”
Government, he said, is committed to resourcing the judiciary as far as possible.
“As soon as they ask for a plot of land, I immediately get my particular clearance and I go to the requisite department and I make my request and it is delivered. We do so not because we want any particular favour from the judiciary, we do so because we are committed to ensuring that we do everything possible so that they can deliver to you the quality of justice and service that you deserve as people of our country,” he said.
Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, said Guyana has another facility to ensure there is access to justice. She explained that at one point in time, the people of Kwakwani had to travel all the way to Berbice to seek justice, something that is now a thing of the past for the over 4,000 residents in the community.
“Although I am told there are no street names except for Old Market Street in this community and there are no lot numbers, everyone knows everyone in this community, and for the most part they all get along well. Nevertheless, time and again there has been infractions of the law; there is a need to uphold the rule of law in any community and therefore a court is needed,” the Chancellor said.
Her Worship Wanda Fortune will be the resident Magistrate for the court, which will have two sittings per month.
Present at the opening were Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack and other senior officials.