IDB grant inked to set up commercial court
Stabroek News
October 11, 2003

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The Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday signed a technical support grant to establish a commercial court as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism for the financial sector.

This court is expected to shorten the time legal transactions take and the commercial banking sector and financial sectors are expected to benefit.

Clients’ legal risks associated with transactions should be reduced and the level of efficiency should be increased with the coming into being of the court.

At the end of 2002, the backlog of civil cases exceeded 11,000 - more than double the number of civil cases dealt with annually. At least a third of the cases filed in 2002 related to claims involving financial institutions.

Minister of Finance Saisnarine Kowlessar and IDB Country Representative, Sergio Varas-Olea signed the agreement which approves US$500,000. The government is to provide counterpart funds of US$50,000. Chief Justice Carl Singh, from whose office the programme will be administered, was also present, a Government Information Agency press release reported.

The programme encompasses the provision of technical assistance to develop a legal and institutional framework for the courts, training for judges who are selected, training of mediators and arbitrators, the purchase of office equipment and for public awareness and outreach programmes.

According to the IDB, the fund is to be disbursed over an eighteen-month period.

In the project document, the IDB said that decisions in the current court system were often neither prompt nor transparent and “often appeared based on questionable jurisprudence.”