Law Reform Commission in “final stage of readiness” – AG

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The Government says it is in the final stage of setting up the Law Reform Commission to review Guyana’s archaic laws.

The Law Reform Commission Bill 2015 was passed in January 2016, with criticisms from the parliamentary opposition which had concerns with the process of the appointment of the Commissioners.

Since the passage of the necessary legislation, the Commission has not been established despite the allocation of millions of dollars in the ensuing years for the entity.

Attorney General Basil Williams, in response to questions posed by Opposition’s legal affairs point person, Anil Nandlall, said the Commission is in the final stages of readiness.

Williams, in his written response which was made available in the National Assembly today, said “persons have been interviewed for the position of Commissioners” however no remuneration package has been approved.

The Act governing this Commission stipulates that the be appointed by the President of Guyana, after consultation with the Minister of Legal Affairs.

The Opposition Members had contended that the Commissioners should be appointed following broader consultations including with the Association of Legal Professionals, the University of Guyana, the Private Sector Commission (PSC), the religious community, the labour unions, human rights groups and the parliamentary opposition.

Despite not having the Commissioners, the LRC is staffed with ten persons including of one legal officer, two legal clerks, three typists, two office assistants, one cleaner and one driver.

The legal officer is being paid $700,000; the cleaner $75,000; the driver $120,000; each office assistant, $100,000; each legal clerk $150,000 and each typist $130,000.

The Law Reform Commission is located at 59 Robb Street, Bourda, Georgetown – a building being rented from a Michael Wharton for $850,000 per month.

In Williams’ written response, he did not say how soon the Commissioners will be appointed.

The Commission is expected to undertake the reform and development of all possible laws in Guyana to ensure they are in line with international practices. In addition to the modernising outdated laws, the Commission is expected to examine cases to eliminate anomalies and repeal obsolete and unnecessary enactments.

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