High Court judges for training in the UK
Four High Court judges are to attend training courses in the United Kingdom between October and February.
Stabroek News
July 17, 2002

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Chancellor of the Judiciary, Desiree Bernard, told Stabroek News that the United Kingdom's Judicial Study Board has made available three places this year and a fourth in February that would allow the High Court judges to undergo intensive one-week courses there.

She said that Justice Yonette Cummings will travel to the UK in September and her training will be in the criminal jurisdiction. Justices Claudette La Bennett and B.S. Roy will travel in October and November respectively and their training will be in the civil jurisdiction. And Justice Winston Moore will undergo training in the criminal jurisdiction in February.

Another training opportunity, the Chancellor said, would be a seminar in sentencing for magistrates that will be conducted by Justice Martin Stevens later this year.

The training stints were tied up by the Chancellor during a recent visit at the invitation of Baroness Patricia Scotland. Baroness Scotland was in Guyana as part of the British government delegation to the CARICOM/United Kingdom Forum held here in early April.

Chancellor Bernard said that the training being provided is a continuation of assistance from the British Government to upgrade the administration of justice. The British government, as part of this programme, is assisting in the modernisation of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Prison Service.

On a related issue, the Chancellor disclosed that following a visit to the George-town Prison earlier this year the decision was taken to assign two Court of Appeal judges to assist in hearing cases at the Criminal Sessions. Justices of Appeal Claudette Singh and Ian Chang SC volunteered for the assignment, giving up part of their leave that should have been taken during the Court of Appeal's recess. The Chancellor said she visited the Camp Street jail in April and was accompanied by Chief Justice Carl Singh and acting Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen. She said that during the visit they had promised to expedite cases for a number of prisoners and the constitutional provision which allows Court of Appeal judges to be assigned to the High Court made this possible.

Chancellor Bernard said that the report submitted by the committee she appointed to review the High Court criminal procedures was being circulated to a number of the stakeholders including the Chief Justice, Attorney General, Doodnauth Singh, and Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj. She added that she expected to convene a meeting with the various stakeholders early next month.

During her visit to the United Kingdom, Chancellor Bernard said that she was able to visit a number of penal institutions including Pentonville Prison in London. There too, she said, there was a problem with the number of prisoners on remand though not as severe as here.