Criminal bench books distributed to legal fraternity to lift judicial efficiency, consistency
Stakeholders within Guyana’s legal fraternity on Wednesday received the Criminal Bench Books for Magistrates and Parish Court Judges in the Caribbean, Volumes One to Three, which will assist in the execution of their cases judiciously and efficiently.
The comprehensive manuals were handed over to prosecutorial bodies including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, magistracy, police prosecutor’s office, Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), the Berbice Bar Association, and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
During the handing-over ceremony at the Guyana Police Force’s Officers’ Training Centre, Camp Street, Georgetown, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, SC, Mohabir Anil Nandlall said the book is a timely addition to the work Guyana has done and continues to execute in the administration of justice.
“The book presents a complete authoritative manual that can easily provide the type of guidance that is required both in court and when more in-depth research is required outside of the Court…One of the greatest characteristics of a proper justice system is one that applies the law consistently and uniformly,” the Attorney General stated.
Minister Nandlall is optimistic that the criminal bench books will significantly enhance the alignment of perspectives and foster a deeper level of understanding.
“A great time and effort will have to now be expended in finding commonality in the three sources from which the law is being drawn in a singular case. That clash is removed and replaced by a common symphony with the utilisation of a common source of guidance. And that is what the book presents,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, highlighted that the books encompass legislations applicable to all jurisdictions.
She expressed hopes that magistrates will be able to perform promptly and there will be a better quality of the hearing being conducted as well as decision making.
The gesture is part of the Support for the Criminal Justice Project, which is a partnership between the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Inter-Development Bank (IDB).
Country Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Lorena Solorzano Salazar said Guyana will continue to receive support from the IDB in addressing issues relating to its heavily populated prison system to bring measures to relieve the police, prosecution, judiciary, and prison resources of the state.