Gov’t assiduously working to create modern legislative framework – AG Nandlall

Guyana is assiduously working to create a modern legislative framework, a strong legal institution and systems to ensure the achievement of these imperatives. 

During his budget debate contribution on Friday, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall highlighted that most of the transformational policies and projects which are being embarked upon by the government require a modern legislative framework to cradle, embrace and regulate them.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, S.C. Anil Nandlall

“Therefore, we are compelled to pursue a most robust legislative agenda to support these initiatives. Our Constitution is the most paramount and fundamental of all legal instruments. It establishes the philosophical ideals, the economic basis and the political framework through which we function and by which we are governed,” Minister Nandlall said.

Guyana has already passed the Constitutional Reform Commission Act and before the first quarter of this year, the revision of the laws of Guyana will be concluded and the new laws will be published. In addition, Guyana Law Reports from the year 2008 to 2020 will be published.

A new building for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at Ondeerming, in Region Two, will be completed and commissioned later this year.

Meanwhile, at Suddie, a new edifice is being constructed that will house the Deeds and Commercial Registry authorities.

In 2024, $800 million has been budgeted for the construction of a new Deeds and Commercial Registry Authority at Esplanade in New Amsterdam. Another Hope and Justice Centre will be built in Vergenoegen on the East Bank of Essequibo.

The first centre was commissioned at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara. In 2024, a portion of land will be donated by the government to accommodate a building for the Guyana Legal Aid Clinic at Providence, East Bank Demerara.

Appointments will be made this year for the Judicial Service Commission. This will see the appointments of six justices of appeal, nine judges appointed to the High Court, and two commissioners of title.

Additionally, ten magistrates will be appointed, bringing the total of magistrates to 29.

In August 2023, a modern $263 million Magistrate Court was commissioned at Vigilance on the East Coast of Demerara.

The sod was turned in August 2023 for the construction of a $303.9 million Magistrate Court at Timehri. A sod was also turned in August 2023 for a modern $388.8 million at Friendship, East Bank Demerara.

Anna Regina, Region Two, will also benefit from the construction of a new $178.2 million Magistrate Court. A Drug Court was established in the country for the first time.

In December 2023, a pilot case management system was launched for the Magistrate Court system to bring immense efficiency and modernity to the sector in Guyana.

The Sexual Offenses Act is being reviewed. Guyana will also have new legislation that will provide for the trial of certain criminal matters to be conducted solely by a judge.

“We have performed well in our assessment in relation to Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism. We have dozens of new bills that we are working on. We have to improve and modernise our corporate structure. We have to build the legal capability to provide that crucial role as the breadbasket of the Caribbean. And we are working on legislation to improve our agriculture sector capacity to export food,” Minister Nandlall told the national assembly.

Budget 2024, he stressed, is yet another instalment of the government’s overarching plan to create a modern Guyana and to make the Guyanese citizens, first-class citizens of the world.