Budgetary allocation for Legal affairs ministry approved by National Assembly

The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Legal Affairs was on Monday approved by the National Assembly.

Following five days of debates, the National Assembly on Monday dissolved into the Committee of Supply to begin the process of approval of the Estimates of Expenditure.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, outlined the details of capital expenditure, under the Policy Development and Administration programme.

Under this umbrella, some $435 million is allocated for the advancement of the Justice Sector Programme, which will cater to institutional strengthening and justice reform.

Additionally, the project provides for alternative sentencing interventions, strengthening of probation services, design and implementation of the restorative justice programme, implementation of case management and court scheduling system, and training of judges and magistrates in the use of alternatives to pretrial detention.

The budget also provides some $150 million for constitutional reform.

The AG disclosed that a building has already been secured and furnished to house the commission upon mobilisation, and it is this building that will also be utilised to house the Law Reform Commission.

Further, some $10 million has been allocated to facilitate public outreaches and sensitisation programmes.

As outlined previously, law revision is also on the docket for 2023, and some $220 million has been allocated for this purpose.

The AG said, “This year, we are doing the revised Laws of Guyana from 2012 to December 31, 2022. We are also doing Law Reports from 2007 to 2020, and that is the publication of the book as well as online [publication].”

He added that some $6 million has been allocated for consultations on the Arbitration Bill, which is an ongoing process.

The introduction of this bill is in keeping with government’s goal to make Guyana an arbitration capital. Arbitration is the supreme method of conflict resolution for the oil and gas sector and a modern legislation would instill confidence in international investors that Guyana can be a competent arbitration hub.

Meanwhile, with reference to preparatory works for a regional law school in Guyana, some $30 million has been budgeted to advance these efforts.

The Council of Legal Education recently granted its approval for the establishment of such an institution in Guyana. The Attorney General had said that this move is in keeping with government’s transformational agenda, to promote Guyana as an attractive offshore education destination and fulfil the PPP/C’s manifesto promise of training Guyanese at every level.

The establishment of a regional law school will cater to the high demand for legal services countrywide.