New $294M Vigilance Magistrates’ Court to provide easier access to justice for thousands


Easier access to justice for thousands of people living along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) is promised through the new $294 million Vigilance Magistrates’ Court that was commissioned on Wednesday.

The new court is much more spacious and modern than the old, concrete structure that existed before. It will also be able to accommodate two Magistrates.

Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag.) Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards noted that the old structure was built in the 1940s and simply could not access the growing number of litigants or the people who accompany them to Court.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall SC and Magistrate Fabayo Azore at the ceremonial opening of the new court. Also in photo is Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag.) Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chief Justice (ag.) Roxane George and other officials (Photo: DPI/ August 16, 2023)

Beyond resolving spacing concerns, she noted that the new edifice is part of efforts to provide improved access to justice.

It is for that reason probation and social services, domestic violence support and the drug treatment court services will all be offered at this facility. There are designated rooms for these services.

Inside the court (Photo: DPI/ August 16, 2023)

Further, the court’s services, starting with its notices, are being digitised. Soon, there will be digital records available and persons would be able to make payments online.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC highlighted that the government supports the judiciary’s efforts to improve access to justice. As such, funds were made available to construct this facility and many others like it.

“…This certainly is not an isolated edifice and investment,” he said.

He also noted that the government is creating an enabling framework to allow for legal services to be delivered more efficiently. That includes crafting and passing new legislation to accommodate digital services.

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