Representatives from the International Narcotics Control Board meet with Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs
On December 6, 2017, senior representatives from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Dr Stefano Berterame and Dr Raul Martin-Del-Campo, met with the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC, MP and his staff to discuss Guyana’s compliance with the international drug control conventions. The meeting with the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs centred on the prosecution of drug offences, programmes for alternative sentencing and Guyana’s experience with combatting possession and trafficking of narcotics.
The Attorney General informed the representatives of the INCB that Guyana’s legislative framework is in consonance with the drug control conventions namely, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971 and the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988. He further stated that Guyana’s Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, Cap. 10:10, deals with possession, trafficking and cultivation of narcotics and related penalties.
As it relates to alternative sentencing, the Attorney General stated that the Ministry of Legal Affairs has undertaken, with the help of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), an 8 million dollars (US) project which aims to bolster the criminal justice system. The project’s objective is to reduce the high concentration of prisoners in Guyana by reducing the use of pre-trial detention, employing the use of restorative justice and increasing the use of alternative sentencing.
The Attorney General further stated that the Government’s fight against the possession and trafficking of narcotics must be buttressed by securing our borders possibly by using drones.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Mr Charles Fung-a-Fatt, SC, Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Mrs Ananda Dhurjon, Legislative Drafting Consultant and Ms Joann Bond, Principal Parliamentary Counsel.