Chancellor Singh calls for use of alternatives to custodial sentencing to deal with overcrowding in prisons
The Justice Education Society is collaborating with Guyana’s Judiciary by hosting a two-day seminar dubbed “Trial Management in the Magistrate Courts” aimed at addressing the backlog of cases and other deficiencies in the Justice System by the sharing of expertise.
Speaking on behalf of the Canadian High Commissioner the Counselor for Consular Affairs said strengthening the criminal justice system is one of Canada’s largest bilateral project in Guyana aimed at strengthening the accountability, efficiency and professionalism of Law enforcement agencies here.
The programme follows a study tour of the British Colombia court system in Vancouver, Canada in October where Chancellor Carl Singh and Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan and others participated.
It is expected to build on that visit by harnessing the enthusiasm they brought back to implement some of those measures locally.
Meantime, Chancellor Carl Singh in his address said the seminar is indicative of the support Guyana can expect from the Ministry of Public Security as the initiative is embarked upon. Alternative sentencing and trial management are just two of the several focus areas.
The Chancellor alluded to suggestions that connoted that magistrates in Guyana were responsible for the overcrowding at the prisons, deeming it an unjust one whether direct or subtle.
Notwithstanding this Justice Singh believes that where the circumstances permit greater use can be made of alternatives to custodial sentencing and expressed happiness that this area, which Guyana will adopt almost immediately, would be a substantive topic for discussions.
The two-day seminar is being held at the Georgetown Club, Camp Street and will see the participation of Law Enforcement Officers and members of the Judiciary along with other International counterparts such as Chief Judge Tom Crabtree.