Guyana nominates two judges for Hague Network of Judges-as inaugural Regional Hague Conference opens

Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs News

Georgetown, GINA, July 13, 2016

Guyana’s Chief Justice (ag) and another senior judge were nominated by Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams this evening to become Guyana’s representatives on the International Network of Hague Judges.

At the opening ceremony of the Hague Convention Conference at the Pegasus Hotel this evening, Minister  Williams nominated Chief Justice (ag), Madame Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Madame Justice, Roxanne George as Hague Network Judges as part of Guyana’s commitment to joining the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH).

Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards (right) and Madam Justice Roxanne Bernard (left) at the opening ceremony of Hague Convention Centre.
Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards (right) and Madam Justice Roxanne Bernard (left) at the opening ceremony of Hague Convention Centre.

Williams said he has no doubt that the judges will bring a wealth of knowledge which will contribute positively to the operating and functioning of the Hague Conventions. Guyana is hosting the third regional conference until July 15.

“My hope is that Guyana becomes a member of HCCH and continue the work already started through the hosting of this conference,” Williams said in his opening remarks.

Once the nomination is accepted, Guyana will be the second country in the Caribbean region to be a part of the network. Trinidad and Tobago is the first Caribbean country to sign on to it.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the HCCH, Christophe Bernasconi welcomed the two judges on their appointment and expressed the hope that other Caribbean countries will sign onto the Hague Network of Judges.

“I hope that this event will ignite in all delegates here present a strong interest and enthusiasm for the Hague conference and its conventions. I also hope that this enthusiasm will be carried back to the capital, and as a result, many Caribbean states will sign up to Hague conventions and actively consider Hague Conference membership. I sincerely hope that we can encourage those states…to designate one or two Hague Network Judges,” Bernasconi said.

Bernasconi also commended Minister Williams for the effort that Guyana and other sponsors have put in to make the conference possible. “You immediately understood the great potential our instruments can have for Guyana and the region more broadly,” Bernasconi said in praise.

Williams also came in for praise from Sir Matthew Thorpe, retired Lord Justice of Appeal, Court of Appeal of England and Wales. “Here we have the jurisdiction and that gives us the potential to achieve the breakthrough in the volume of the support for the Hague family conventions in this region,” Thorpe said.

The conference is the third and largest regional conference. There are approximately 22 delegates from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the wider Caribbean region attending. Those delegates are Ministers of Legal Affairs, Attorney Generals, Judges and other legal experts.

Attorney General Williams said that the content and quality of the various HCCH conventions are worthy of embracing. “The conventions simplify and expedite judicial proceedings to ensure reciprocity as it relates to the enforcement of judgement in foreign jurisdictions and promote legal certainty,” Williams said.