Keeping the economy clean from dirty money – AG cites importance of anti-corruption seminars

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 9, 2018

The Ministry of Legal Affairs has a number of activities slated for 2018, one of the most important being the continued hosting of anti-corruption seminars across the country. According to Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel (SC), Basil Williams, these have been well received by Guyanese across the country.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senior Counsel (SC) Basil Williams.

The AG, who was addressing media operatives on Monday, said citizens have suggested that these seminars be held every six months in their respective locations. He noted that “We need to keep the financial economy clean from dirty drug money and money laundering and also to educate employees about the importance of not purloining or stealing state assets.”

In this vein, the Legal Affairs Minister informed that an Assessors Training will be held in Guyana from January 22-26, 2018 and is expected to attract some 50 participants from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) from around the region.

A Prosecutors and Judges Conference, which will be co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the CFATF will also be held in Guyana.

The AG, in further outlining the ministry’s plans, said a meeting of the Council for Legal Education is scheduled for September, among other activities.

As it relates to the operation of the Deeds and Commercial and Land Registries, the goal is to enable persons to access the electronic registries without having to leave their homes or place of businesses.

Addressing the issue of overcrowding in the prisons, particularly for trafficking small amounts of marijuana, Minister Williams told the media that the Law Reform Commission has the responsibility of recommending alternative sentencing.

“In other words, instead of fixing jail sentences, upon conviction, you have some other alternative sentence,” he noted.

On the matter of decriminalising marijuana, the AG said it has not yet been discussed at the cabinet level, but it is something that could be considered and should attract consultations.

Referencing a recent study, AG Williams said it emphasises the need for public education on the effects of marijuana as well.

In addition, legislation dealing with Corporal Punishment, the decriminalising of same-sex relationships and the Death Penalty, the AG disclosed, have not yet come up for discussion at the cabinet level.


By: Stacy Carmichael


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