New criminal bench books to help clear backlog of cases, provide common guidance


Criminal bench books, a regional initiative of the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project, were handed over to members of the judiciary, prosecutors and other stakeholders as part of efforts being pursued to clear the backlog of criminal cases.

With these books, all the stakeholders involved in criminal cases will be aware of the common set of procedures that should be followed from the arrest of an accused person to the completion of the case.

Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, said this venture will help clear the backlog of cases and remove any clashes that might exist between magistrates, prosecutors and the defence side.

“The bench books are a complete and, I dare say, authoritative manual that can easily provide the type of guidance that is required in court and when more in depth resources are required outside of court,” the Attorney General said at a handing over ceremony held at the Guyana Police Force Training Centre, Camp Road, Georgetown.

And Nandlall said the books will be provided to the judiciary, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and others.

Since each stakeholder will be on the ‘same page’ Nandlall expects that cases will be finished faster, thereby clearing the backlog of cases now.

“This book will provide tremendous assistance in applying the law and (provide) badly-needed speed in the criminal justice system and it compliments the support for the criminal justice project that is being financed by the Inter- American Development Bank,” he said.

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