– AG says gov’t committed to rolling out new, modernised courts
THE government’s commitment to maintaining law and order in the East Coast of Demerara is evident with the commissioning of the $294 million Vigilance Magistrate’s Court, especially given the area’s rapid transformation in all sectors.
This is according to Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, on Wednesday, during the commissioning of the new facility.
He said that his government recognises the need for a more modern and revolutionary justice system and it is committed to injecting the necessary investments in order to enhance it.
In his feature remarks, the AG said: “It [the new court] demonstrates vividly the government’s commitment to investing heavily in the judicial system and in the legal system of our country. It demonstrates the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that there is equal and ready access to justice right across the length and breadth of our country.”
The AG further announced that the newly-commissioned Vigilance Magistrate’s Court is one of several modernised facilities that the government is rolling out. Moreover, Mabaruma, Anna Regina, Cove and John, among others, will soon see the same.
“So this certainly is not an isolated edifice and investment. It is a continuous one …” he remarked.
Reflecting on how the area and the court hold a special place in his heart, Nandlall said: “I grew up a stone’s throw away from this location and I also hold Parliamentary and political responsibility for the East Coast of Demerara. When I began my legal career as a member of the practicing bar, I spent many weeks in this compound,” adding that the previous ancient building brought back memories.
Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, holds the ceremonial ribbon as Magistrate, Fabayo Azore, cuts it while being flanked by Acting Chief Justice, Roxanne George and Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards along with other officials (Adrian Narine Photo)
From the traditional windows to the wooden floors and benches, he remarked that the new facility was a step in the right direction in seeing the East Coast Court becoming modernised.
Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards, lauded the new court and said that the enhancement of the delivery of judiciary services was long overdue.
She said: “This Vigilance Magistrate’s Court opening signifies, not only improved access to justice, but also the commitment and dedication of a team of judicial officers and staff to achieving that end.”
From an ancient building that lacked space and proper facilities, the Chancellor could not help but reflect on how far the justice system had evolved.
She said: “The residents of the East Coast starting from Spareendam all the way to Cove and John, this is your court.”
Moreover, Acting Chief Justice, Roxanne George, said that the introduction of the modern court comes at the right time, since massive developments are occurring on the East Coast corridor, such as new housing schemes.
“We appreciate the resources that the government provides to the judiciary, the third arm of the state, so that it can carry out its mandate of upholding the rule of law and providing access to justice to all,” she stated.
Referring to the newly-commissioned court as a ‘baby’ that is tech-savy and well-equipped, Acting Chief Magistrate, Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, stated that it demonstrates an innovative manner of enforcing justice.
The new Vigilance Magistrate’s court houses two court rooms, a drug treatment department, domestic violence room and living quarters.
The new court is part of the transformation of the justice sector in Guyana and is expected to serve the staff and people of the east coast more efficiently. The court also features a modern digital payment system for bail and other fees through GTT’s Mobile Money Guyana (MMG).