UG commences registration for Summary Court Prosecutors course


The University of Guyana (UG) has commenced the registration process for the new Certificate in Advocacy and Evidence for Summary Courts Prosecutors programme which effectively allows holders of a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree to prosecute matters at the magistracy level.

The application process commences on February 2, 2022 and will run until February 24, 2022. The programme will commence on March 7, 2022.

Third-year LL.B students enrolled at UG, and any person who is the holder of an LL.B degree from UG or any recognised university and is interested in prosecuting cases in Guyana’s Magistrates Courts can apply for the new programme. Thirty-five persons will be granted scholarships, facilitated by UG Department of Law, to undertake the training.

Students enrolled in the course will be taught principles of the law of evidence, criminal law and procedure, as well as principles governing all applications and rules relative to criminal proceedings in the magistrate courts. They will also be trained in advocacy and presenting evidence, cross-examination and the conduct of preliminary enquiries.

Persons who complete the programme will be hired by the State to prosecute matters in the Magistrate Courts and will prosecute persons accused of committing summary offences or triable either way offences which are being tried summarily. They may also be involved in the preliminary inquiries and paper committals regarding indictable offences.

The course forms part of the initiatives being implemented as part of the US$8 million Support for the Criminal Justice System (SCJS) Programme, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and is implemented by the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

It falls under the component of the programme which seeks to reduce the use of pre-trial detention, especially for individuals accused of minor offences, by providing better legal assistance to individuals accused of non-violent offences and improving the prosecutors’ ability to handle cases according to the seriousness of the offence.

At the inking of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in December 2021 between the Ministry of Legal Affairs and UG for the university to teach the programme, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., opined that the programme will bring greater balance to the scales of justice.

“At the level of the magistrates court, the accused is represented by a trained legal mind and the State is represented by a police officer. The introduction of the graduates of this programme into the prosecution system is intended to address this imbalance,” Nandlall had said.

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