Guyana’s Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs has sought to defend the performance of his team in court after losing several cases, costing the Government millions of dollars.
During a press conference on Monday, Attorney General Basil Williams brushed aside criticisms that his Chamber has underperformed after several judgments were passed against them regarding the Government.
Williams said that while his predecessor, Anil Nandalall, has been critical of his work as Attorney General, he [Nandalall] did a poor job when he held that position for several years.
“There is nothing to share that Nandalall accomplished. What did he accomplish? Nothing…And let’s deal with the successes. If he’s talking about the cases, that’s one narrow aspect of the Ministry of Legal Affairs. I haven’t done any cases as Minister which Mr Nandalall won and in fact all of the cases that I’m likely to win, haven’t come up,” he said.
Late last year, President David Granger came out in support of Williams, contending that the court cases he lost were due mainly to inadequate representation by his legal team.
However, in 2017, it was reported that $100 million was included in the Ministry’s Budget for the retention of six attorneys by the Government to prosecute a number of high profile cases.
Since its assumption to office, Government represented by the AG has lost several cases at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and in the local courts to large companies, private citizens, and Opposition members.
In its most recent ruling against the state, a $446M judgment in favour of Dipcon Engineering, The CCJ criticized the AG for failing to appeal the Supreme Court’s judgment within the prescribed period, noting that it was “unacceptable”.
The time taken to deal with matters of the State was an issue raised by former Deputy Solicitor General, Prithima Kissoon.
Kissoon’s service was terminated last year.