Wheels of justice turning again on Ave of the Republic

City magistrates’ courts resumed operations yesterday at the refurbished complex along the Avenue of the Republic, which was reopened after an almost three-year-long closure for renovations.

The historic Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts building, which sits along the Avenue of the Republic between Brickdam and Croal Street, now houses 12 precinct courts.

Since May 2011, courts 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9, which were being housed in the court building, were all relocated to the Globe Trust building on Middle Street, to facilitate the repairs which were being done.

The Brickdam section of the court complex: In photo, a number of the newly installed AC units can be seen around the building. (Photo by Arian Browne)
The Brickdam section of the court complex: In photo, a number of the newly installed AC units can be seen around the building. (Photo by Arian Browne)

These courts, along with Courts 6, 7 and 10 and the new additions of courts 4, 11 and 12, now occupy spaces in the refurbished building, which caters for the sitting of all the city’s courts in one central location.

Courts 6, 7 and 10 used to be housed in the Jainarine Singh building on Croal Street located aback of the court.

Courts 4, 11 and 12 are housed in a newly attached northern wing of the complex, located on the first floor of the two-storey building. They are not yet sitting, however, as they are yet to be assigned magistrates.

Courts 7, 10, 8 and 9 are located on the ground floor; while the remaining courts are on the first floor.

Among the new additions to the refurbished structure are the installation of smoke and fire alarms, fire extinguishers and air conditioning (AC) units in every courtroom. The courtrooms now cater for a larger seating capacity with the installation of a number of individual seating units. Hallway passages leading to some of the courtrooms are more spacious.

The floor of the courtrooms located on the ground floor is fully tiled with the exception of courts 8 and 9.

The interior of a section of Court 11: It shows a section of the well of the court, the prisoners’ dock and the seating area in the public gallery. (Photo by Arian Browne)
The interior of a section of Court 11: It shows a section of the well of the court, the prisoners’ dock and the seating area in the public gallery. (Photo by Arian Browne)

Additionally, as opposed to the lone security guard who used to be located at the main entrance of the courtyard, two additional huts have been erected and are each manned by guards. These are located one at each side of the building.

Of note also is the expanded northern section of the courtyard, which houses a standby generator and reserved parking outside the compound for each sitting magistrate.

The proceedings of all the sitting courts commenced smoothly with no known hiccups. While persons were somewhat uncertain as to where the different courts were located, police officers in the courtyard rendered assistance.

Additionally, each courtroom has a sign on its door identifying it as do the various administrative offices of the court.

Several senior police officers were seen in and around the precinct seemingly ensuring that staff members were comfortably settled.Two concerns were, however, expressed to this newspaper regarding noise emanating from the passing vehicular traffic, which disrupted the proceedings of some of the courts.

A source, who requested anonymity, noted that the courtrooms were supposed to have been soundproof with the installation of the AC units.

Another concern regarded the noise generated by one of the AC units in one of the courtrooms, which made hearing across the other corner of the room a challenging exercise.

Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry presides in Court 1, Magistrate Ann McLennan in Court 2, Magistrate Judy Latchman in Court 3, Magistrate Fabayo Azore in Court 5 and Magistrate Dellon Bess in Court 6. Meanwhile, Court 7 is presided over by Magistrate Chandra Sohan, courts 8 and 9 by Magistrate Faith McGusty and Court 10 by Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie blasts Ramotar administration over specialty hospital project

Businessman Brian Tiwarie yesterday rejected claims that his company had taken possession of containers belonging to the fired Specialty Hospital contractor and he accused the Donald Ramotar administration of grossly mismanaging the project.

The Kato school

Multimillion-dollar Kato school unsafe for children

The Kato Secondary School, which was constructed at a cost over hundreds of millions of dollars, remains unoccupied because it is not safe for children, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Repairs underway to shifting Hope Canal bridge

There is a major structural fault with the $350m bridge constructed across the Hope Canal,  East Coast Demerara, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who yesterday said the structure has repeatedly shifted away from the road.

default placeholder

National Assembly approves $800m in supplementary spending

After hours of deliberations, the National Assembly last night approved almost $800 million in extra-budgetary spending including on 6000 solar panels to “green” State House and an army exercise aimed at testing the preparedness of the Guyana Defence Force which was done last year.

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie planning to establish newspaper

Prominent businessman and owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, is planning to open his own newspaper company here and has started the process.

default placeholder

Probe underway into stealth flights from Ogle

An inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding how two planes left Guyana illegally from the Eugene F Correia International Airport (EFCIA) last Saturday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Finance Minister says unsure of UG ‘emergency’ funding needs

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has said that he is unsure of the ‘emergency’ funding the University of Guyana needs to reputedly prevent a collapse of the  institution.

default placeholder

Ministry welcomes removal from US human trafficking watch list

The Ministry of Social Protection yesterday welcomed the latest classification on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), which has seen the country coming off the watch list for TIP, that is, moving from Tier 2 on the Watch List to Tier Two.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: