Bail, Restorative Justice Bills laid in National Assembly

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Attorney General Anil Nandlall, S.C, on Thursday laid several pieces of legislation in the National Assembly.

Among the Bills read for the first time was the Restorative Justice Bill of 2022, which seeks to provide for rehabilitation in the criminal justice system. The bill has as its primary objective repairing the harm caused by an offence.

“The justice system has shown that a man commits a crime, you sentence him to prison, he comes out back and he commits the same crime, you sentence him again; he comes out …and the cycle goes on,” the minister had previously explained.

The Bill is an approach to resolving problems in various forms and involves the victim, offender, and community.

The piece of legislation reaffirms government’s commitment to strengthening the justice system in Guyana, and reducing the prison population through alternative sentencing.

The Bail Bill 2022 was also introduced in the National Assembly on Thursday and will make way for reform in Guyana. It is a key component in remedying overcrowding in the prisons.

Moreover, bail reform will ensure the efficient functioning of the nation’s criminal justice system. It recognises that a person is innocent until proven guilty, and that every person has a right to his/her personal liberty.

To this end, the Bill provides for the grant or refusal of bail in every criminal proceeding.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill 2022 was also tabled in the House.

The upgrade to this legislation is important as it will ensure the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) meets the necessary requirements for membership to the prestigious Egmont Group.

The Egmont Group is a trusted gateway for sharing financial information domestically and internationally in accordance with global AML/CFT standards. Accordingly, the amendment of the AML/CFT will see adjustments to Sections Two of the Principal Act, 9(4) and 14 (1). [Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information]

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