Gov’t will not impose its views on citizens during constitutional reform process – AG
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, SC, said the country’s constitutional reform will not impose the PPP/C Administration’s views 0n the Guyanese public.
“Our government’s philosophy and our government’s approach to constitutional reform is not one that will impose our government’s view but will take on board what the majority of the consultations produce,” he stated.
The AG made the remark during a panel interview with the Guyana Dialogue on Thursday night, where he addressed the status of constitutional reform and electoral changes.
A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles that represent the legal basis of a polity, organisation or another type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.
In this regard, the AG reiterated the government’s commitment to meaningfully reform the constitution stating that, “We [government] said we will follow previous PPP initiatives in respect to constitutional reform and that the reform will be based on consultation with the populace and stakeholder organisations… Comprising 50 per cent parliamentary parties and 50 per cent civil society organisations.”
So far, the government has already put before the National Assembly and enacted a constitution reform act that captures these tenets which form part of the PPP/C’s 2020-2025 Manifesto promise.
However, due to the absence of the opposition, the government was forced to continue the process by consultation.
The AG highlighted that this was done because the “government feels that no segment of our population or no political conglomerate has the monopoly of what our constitution should embrace, what its terms should be and what the concepts of that constitution should embrace.”
The report that emanates from the Commission of Inquiry (COI) will be taken into account for the constitutional reform process.
Meanwhile, the AG noted that the government is investing heavily in the judicial systems as law and order keep the society together.
To this end, a bill is currently in parliament that intends to increase the number of judges at the Court of Appeal threefold.
Heavy emphasis is also being placed on sentencing guidelines with the intent of attaining greater consistency and introducing a regulatory framework in the judicial system.
A more scientific approach to punishment with the emphasis being placed on rehabilitation rather than punitive sanctions is a concept the government is working assiduously to introduce in its full capacity.
Furthermore, the government is making considerable investments to fabricate a joint electronic database that joins the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Prison Service (GPS), Attorney General’s Chambers, the entire Court system and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security into one massive management network.
The database will be used to share and store information for the Criminal Justice System in an effort to modernise the system to bring greater efficiency as the government embraces new and evolving changes while maintaining traditional methods of punishment.