Draft being circulated on court rules
March 12, 2003
The Chancellor of the Judiciary has circulated to members of the bar, for their comments, copies of the draft rules of court.
Former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Kenneth George, formulated the draft rules under a project assisted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Stabroek News understands that after the lawyers have had a chance to study the draft rules the Chancellor would meet with them before arrangements are put in place to have them enacted.
Meanwhile, following a meeting between the Chancellor and Senior Counsel Rex McKay, the committee which he led to review criminal law procedures is preparing a final report.
The final report will incorporate the recommendations which were made at the meeting that discussed the committee's preliminary report. Present at that meeting which the Chancellor convened, were representatives of the Guyana Bar Association, the Chambers of the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions, the police, the probation service, among others.
That meeting also recommended the creation of a Special Prosecution Service, which would relieve the police of prosecuting all but the most minor cases.
Among the recommendations in the preliminary report were the implementation of programmes designed for the information, education and instruction of magistrates which among other subjects would cover criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence in content; the expeditious preparation of magistrates' memoranda; the creation of two divisions - Criminal and Civil - of the Court of Appeal capable of sitting simultaneously; the establishment of an independent Coroner's Office with national jurisdiction to investigate unnatural deaths; the expeditious hearing of those cases in respect of which prisoners are in custody awaiting trial; and the amendment of the relevant laws to allow for paper committals.