Harmonising laws with international obligations among priorities

 – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says harmonising the laws in accordance with international obligations is among his Government’s priorities.

The President made this statement after he administered the Oath of Office to the newly-appointed members of the Law Reform Commission on Wednesday.

“The law is a central pillar of civilised societies. It must therefore, be regularly updated in order to keep abreast with societal changes.

“It, equally, must be reformed to fill gaps to the countries legislative architecture; harmonise our laws with international obligations and be responsive to the demands of modern justice.”

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and members of the Law Reform Commission

President Ali said the Commission was established through consultation with key stakeholders like the private sector, the trade unions, religious entities, the Rights’ Commission, Government’s legal arm and the National Toshao’s Council. Recent amendments to the Law Reform Commission Act in the National Assembly paved the way for this broad-based consultation.

The Act which was passed in 2016 under the Coalition Government, vested in the President the power to appoint the entire Commission, consulting only with the Minister, and only legally-trained persons were allowed to form part of the Commission. The PPP/C Government amended this when it took office.

“The work of the Law Reform Commission is vital to ensuring that Government develops a systematic approach to legal reforms, including prioritising and establishing a programme of such reforms.

“The work of the Commission is also critical in ensuring that Guyana keeps abreast with emerging and evolving legislative trends in the world,” President Ali said.  

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel Mohabir Anil Nandlall, MP, also spoke of the significance of the establishment of this Commission.

“It is the first time in Guyana that we are having a Law Reform Commission. You would have heard me say repeatedly that we need to overhaul our entire legislative architecture.

“The Law Reform Commission has a very, very important role to play in Guyana’s development projection.”

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali looks on as Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Mr. Beasraj Singh Roy takes the Oath of Office

The Commission is to be chaired by retired Justice of Appeal, Mr. Beasraj Singh Roy; Mr. Teni Housty; Ms. Clarissa Riehl; Mr. Brian O’ Toole; Ms. Emily Dodson, Mr. Roopnarine Satram and Ms. Deenawatie Panday. All seven members of the Law Reform Commission will hold their positions for three years effective from August 11.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Government, Gail Teixeira MP; Chancellor of the Judiciary, Madame Yonette Cummings-Edwards; Director of the Department of Public Prosecutions, Ms. Shalimar Ali- Hack and members from the Guyana Bar Association also attended the ceremony.