Modernised domestic violence law, preparatory works for local law school for 2023  

The year 2023 will see major adjustments to Guyana’s current family violence laws to introduce a criminal element, where the current legislation lacks penal sanctions.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC., made the disclosure on Tuesday during his programme, ‘Issues in the News’.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, S.C, M.P

The Attorney General said the amendments are long overdue, as the country’s current legislation has been in existence for over 20 years.

“Domestic violence is as prevalent as it ever was in this country, and we have to modernise it.  It will be a merger of civil and criminal law, and it’s an improvement on the deficiencies of the Domestic Violence Act,” he said.

The minister noted that a feasibility study is in the works in preparation for the establishment of a law school in Guyana. Following the feasibility study, which is expected to be completed early next year, a report will be submitted to the Council of Legal Education (CLE).

“I have made it abundantly clear that the Government of Guyana will work in tandem with the council of legal education and this law school that will be accommodated in Guyana will be a law school of the Council of Legal Education. It will be a regional institution within the framework of the council of legal education legislation that is in all the territories.”

The school will also accommodate students from across the Caribbean.

He noted several pieces of legislation in the pipeline for 2023, such as the Arbitration Bill, which is expected to pave the way to convert Guyana into a modern arbitration institution, ensuring that it becomes self-sufficient and the arbitration hub of the Caribbean.

The advancements and improvements in the healthcare system are also part of the docket for 2023 legislation with the Patient Personal Information Bill, which will prioritise the organisation and utilisation of patient data.

“An important component of this modernisation is to have the legislative infrastructure to accumulate, store and use patients’ medical data,” the AG pointed out.

Other pieces of legislation slated for 2023 include the Single Window System Bill, Food Security Bill, Modern Waste Management Bill, Anti-Dumping Bill, Amendments to the Rice Farmers (Security of Tenure) Act, and Amendments to the Sexual Offences Act.