AG wants common legislation for Caribbean to tackle corruption
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Standing from left are: State Counsel, Chevy Devonish; Crime and Prevention Office at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Jason Reichelt; Deputy-Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Joanna Bond; Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C. and UNODC Associate Programme Management Officer, Bo Shakira Harris
Standing from left are: State Counsel, Chevy Devonish; Crime and Prevention Office at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Jason Reichelt; Deputy-Chief Parliamentary Counsel, Joanna Bond; Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C. and UNODC Associate Programme Management Officer, Bo Shakira Harris

ATTORNEY-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., has expressed a preference for a common, specific legislation in the Caribbean which addresses corruption, especially now that Guyana is an oil-producing nation, a sector which introduces novel challenges, risks and responsibilities.

This was discussed during a courtesy call to the Attorney-General on Friday last by Bo Shakira Harris, Associate Programme Management Officer, and Jason Reichelt, Crime and Prevention Office at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The courtesy call on the Attorney-General was so as to update him on the recently completed three-day anti-corruption workshop in Guyana, which was facilitated by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, with support from the UNODC, and was aimed at building institutional capacity for reporting and fighting corruption.

The UNDOC officers informed Minister Nandlall that Guyana is currently under review, and as such their role is to support that process, thus, the workshop focused on the checklist process which involves Guyana assessing itself against the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption.

After the checklist will have been completed, there is a desk-based review where recommendations would be made highlighting how Guyana can strengthen its laws, polices and institutions dealing with anti-corruption, which will then enable the country to fully implement the Convention.

Minister Nandlall highlighted that the government has to take the requisite steps to build the regulatory framework to address the issue of corruption in the various sectors. He said he would prefer that there is a common, specific legislation in the Caribbean to address the issue at hand.

The UNODC officers have indicated that they provide assistance to countries as it relates to reviewing and preparing draft laws and legislation. As such, the Attorney General informed the visitors that Impact Justice Caribbean has prepared a model Anti-Corruption Bill for the region which the UNODC officers indicated a willingness to review.

The Attorney General reaffirmed that Guyana is committed to combatting corruption in all its forms and this is evidenced by the fact that the country has signed on to all major international anti-corruption agreements in the hemisphere.

Further, he reminded that the government has taken a strong stance against corruption and has instituted several legal proceedings to tackle corruption which permeated and flowed from the previous administration both in the civil as well as criminal courts.

Also present at the meeting were Joanna Bond, Deputy-Chief Parliamentary Counsel and Chevy Devonish, State Counsel of the Attorney General Chambers.

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