No.51 Village Magistrate’s court commissioned

The $46 million, No. 51 Village Magistrate’s Court, East Berbice/Corentyne was commissioned on Thursday.
GINA said that President Donald Ramotar recounted hearing from people across the country who feel deprived of justice because they lack resources and contacts. Persons, he said, also complain frequently of others being released on bail even though they are charged with committing serious offences or are repeat offenders. “In those instances, the complainants claim that they are denied justice. It is difficult to disagree with them…While I recognise that I cannot interfere with how bail is granted, I feel compelled to draw these matters to the attention of the judiciary. These are some of the issues that lead to a loss of confidence in the judicial system. When the public loses confidence in the justice system, we will have major problems in our country,” the President said, according to GINA.
The President also noted, GINA said, that “billions of dollars of state revenue as taxes are also the subject of pending litigation. The impact of all this is that economic progress and financial activities are severely affected. The judiciary must continue to strive therefore to ensure that there is greater efficiency in the way that the system functions…we invest billions of dollars annually into the judicial sector because we recognise a connection between access to justice and the economic development of our country and the social progress of our people.”
The President noted that investors are more likely to invest in a country when they are assured that the judicial system can guarantee them quick results and justice in accordance with law if litigation arises.
Ramotar said that a new Magistrate’s Court is also scheduled for opening at Lethem, Region Nine within the next few weeks, while contracts have been awarded for construction of a building in the High Court compound in Georgetown to accommodate two Land Courts and a Registry.
Also planned is a new building at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara to house two Magistrate’s Courts.
“We have increased the complement of High Court Judges from 12- to 20 and the new court houses which are being constructed in the outlying regions of our country are now equipped with residential accommodation so that magistrates will be able to sit for longer periods in our hinterland,” he told the commissioning ceremony, according to GINA.
These, and other improvements are being done even while the Government continues to ensure the judiciary remains independent, he said.
“You will never see the PPP flag flying at any court building or any judicial area. It will remain independent of any political influence,” he stressed.
The President also urged members of the judiciary to work expeditiously to reduce the backlog of cases, GINA said. He acknowledged that even though significant strides have been made, “the truth is that where ever I go, I receive complaints of cases pending in the system for years. This is unacceptable…we will continue to encourage the judiciary to embark upon new initiatives that will foster greater speed in the system in order to minimise the delay we often hear about and the reduction of the backlog of cases.”
Both Chancellor Carl Singh and Justice B.S. Roy pointed out that the new building is a much needed replacement that will not only improve the working conditions of members of the judiciary, but the environment of those seeking justice.
The Chancellor also spoke of the judiciary’s independence and noted that magistrates are often encouraged to be effective, fair and efficient.
The No. 51 Village Magistrate’s Court was constructed next to the old court building by Ramesh Kissoon Contracting Company between February and August 2014, GINA said.


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