To ensure that proper legal services are provided to the Government; to provide statutory services to the public relating to the public trust and bankruptcy matters; and to register titles, mortgages, companies, societies and other bodies as well as other documents, as required by the law.
Stakeholders’ sensitisation meetings completed for FATF/ICRG visit – AG impressed with agencies’ efforts to comply
Georgetown, GINA, August 8, 2016
The Ministry of Legal Affairs has completed all sensitisation meetings with reporting entities ahead of the Financial Action Task Force and International Cooperation Review Group (FATF /ICRG) on-site visit to Guyana.
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that he was impressed with the participants’ willingness to comply with the process.
“I’m very impressed by the fact that they’re consciously seeking to comply with all of those FATF/CFATF (Caribbean Financial Action Task Force) requirements,” Williams said.
Attorney General Basil Williams at the last sensitisation meeting
The Attorney General met with representatives of banks, money transfer agencies and cambio dealers to sensitise them on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (amended) legislation between July and August. Last week, the Ministry held its final meeting with insurance brokers and companies, and representatives of the Princess International Casino.
“We wish to commend all of these entities which participated in the sensitisation programme,” AG Williams said. “They seem to have shown more than passing knowledge of the requirements, and I believe that the on-site shouldn’t bear any fear because all of these entities are conscious, and they are conscientiously trying to do their best,” the AG added.
In September, a FATF/ICRG team will be in Guyana for an on-site visit to conduct inspections at the reporting entities and supervisory authorities to verify that the implementation of seven AML/CFT reforms has begun and are being sustained.
Now that the sensitisation meetings are completed, a report will be presented in the FATF/ICRG October Plenary. Once the FATF/ICRG co-chairs conclude that Guyana has satisfied its on-site verification, then a motion will be moved at the plenary to remove Guyana from the FATF/ICRG’s review list.
The Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy members
The Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy members Justice James Patterson, Ms. Yvonne Harewood-Benn, Justice Duke Pollard, Dr. Carl Hanoman, Ms. Merle Mendonca and Chairman Hon. Basil Williams met today August 5, 2016 at the Attorney General’s Chambers. The Council’s remit is to advise President Brigadier David Granger on applications for mercy in capital offences.
The Stabroek News article captioned Chair of Bid Protest Committee response from Renee McDonald.
The European Union’s visiting Delegation on the Abolition of the Death Penalty
The European Union’s visiting Delegation on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, Dr. Ivan Simonovic, United Nations Assistant Secretary General on Human Rights; Justice Navi Pillay, Former United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights; Professor Marc Bossuyt, Emeritus Judge Constitutional Court of Belguim and Derek Lambe, Head of Mission of European Union paid courtesy call on the Hon. Basil Williams Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs at his office on Tuesday July 19, 2016
Hague Conference…All family matters must be addressed in Family Court – Commonwealth Rep
July 18, 2016 Government, Ministry of Legal Affairs, News
Georgetown, GINA, July 18, 2016
The family law court jurisdiction should address all family matters and reduce the backlog of cases at the Magistrates’ Courts and reduce the number of young people being sent to jail.
Justice Abdullahi Zuru of the Commonwealth Secretariat implored the Hague Conference on Private and International Law (HCCH) to consider “reworking” Article 2 of the Choice of Courts Convention to “see how we can assist and protect children.”
A major focus of the regional conference was on international family law particularly the promotion of human rights. The first day sessions reviewed the convention on the protection of the child.
Justice Abdullahi Zuru from the Commonwealth Secretariat
The two-day meeting was held at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown. Justice Zuru said that all the discussion of the protection of the child focused on civil and private international law, but, the state has an equally important role to play in children’s protection.
Justice Zuru lamented the trying of juvenile cases in the Magistrate’s Court and opinioned that the recently opened Family Court should have jurisdiction to hear all family matters.
“Day in, day out, you see that juvenile young boys, young girls…involved in crime and they are taken to magistrate’s court and sometimes the magistrate’s court…at the end of the proceeding…those innocent persons are sent to prison,” Justice Zuru explained. He added that the young people are often times “hardened” by their next court hearing.
Justice Zuru who is based in Guyana, noted that the trying of juvenile criminal matters at the Family Court would also see a reduction in the backlog of cases at the Magistrate’s Court.
Justice Roxanne George, High Court Judge of Guyana
“Is it not our responsibility to think of protecting a child from this angle?” Justice Zuru questioned.
However, Latin American Representative of the HCCH, Ignacio Goicoechea pointed out that the scope of the Hague Conventions deals primarily with private international law that are a civil or commercial matter and does not try to “harmonise substantive laws”. “So juvenile justice is outside our scope and we cannot help you. We have to admit that the Hague Conference is not the panacea that will solve all the matters,” Goicoechea said.
It was also pointed out by Guyanese Justice Roxanne George that the Family Court is a high court jurisdiction. “In the context of Guyana, whilst we will be very happy to have the Magistrate’s court being included along with it as is the case of Trinidad, we’ve discussed and we know because of the size of Guyana…it’s just about impossible to have the family matters all come into a high court jurisdiction,” Justice George explained.
Justice George noted that these are “serious access to justice issues” that the country is facing, “and so things like maintenance and so on which are closer to home, the enforcement mechanism in the magistrate’s court is easier and more manageable for litigants.”