Works advancing on sentencing guidelines – Attorney General
Guyana’s justice system will improve drastically as the government advances efforts on crafting sentencing guidelines, which are expected to bring consistency to the country’s legal structure.
The initiative is supported by the US$8 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Support for the Criminal Justice System (SCJS) programme, to ease prison overcrowding locally.
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, speaking on his weekly programme ‘Issues in the News,’ Tuesday evening, noted that the government has acknowledged the inconsistency in the judicial system when handing out sentences to persons who have committed crimes. He said this is an issue that is brought up at every community meeting the government has facilitated.
Speaking on the ongoing project, Minister Nandlall highlighted that the project entails, “Examining Guyana, examining similar guidelines promogulated in the Caribbean in particular and then other jurisdictions and formulate for Guyana, a peculiar and unique set of guidelines for the Guyanese judiciary and the Guyanese legal system, that will take into account, the realities of Guyana,”
It also includes consultations with the relevant stakeholders including the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Bar Association and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). Consultative engagements with these stakeholders have concluded except with the judiciary.
The AG noted that the engagement with the judiciary will be facilitated shortly, following which, the sentencing guidelines will become available for promulgation.
“The judiciary is central to the process because it’s the judiciary that will have to hand down these sentences. So, input from the judiciary is crucial in this whole process,” he pointed out.
The IDB-funded SCJS programme aims to help Guyana overcome prison overcrowding by reducing pre-trial detentions, and increasing the use of alternative sentencing, among other measures.