[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General, Basil Williams met with a team from the Justice Education Society (JES) to discuss the two year government of Canada funded ‘Strengthening the Guyanese Criminal Justice System (SGCJS) project.’
The meeting saw discussions on the components of Crime Scene Investigations by police for the purpose of taking evidence for successful prosecution in the Courts.
This would see training given to Magistrates and State Prosecutors along with Police Prosecutors as part of the entire process.
“We have identified with the components in the programme that is being administered by the Justice Education Society and we believe it’s very relevant due to complaints such as lawyers taking advantage of police prosecutors,” the Attorney General stated.
He added that police investigators are usually blamed when there are no successful prosecutions. As a result training for all parties should see substantial increase in successful prosecutions.
International Programs Manager of JES, Evelyn Neaman indicated that activities can commence as early as next month, providing the training supplies and equipment arrive on time. The scope of the activities include; working with the police on crime scene protection, working with investigators on investigation, working with the Director of Public Prosecutors, helping police prosecutors and, training for the magistrates courts.
Meanwhile, the project has a component where the media will be called upon to play their part in this venture.
“There is a documentary for public viewing which will bring about greater awareness on the project and what it hopes to achieve so they (the public at large) can better understand what this project is so we can build better confidence in the justice system. In that regard we hope to work with the media. They can take some of the clips to disburse them,” Neaman explained.
The Justice Education Society has embarked on similar projects in Central America and Ethiopia. The Canadian non-governmental organization Justice Education Society of British Columbia is injecting US$750,000 which will be used for the development of Guyana’s justice system. The plan will look at training in legislative drafting, the training of judges and lawyers and addressing the question of how the courts are administered. Part of the grant will be spent on addressing undue delays and backlogs of cases. [Extracted and modified from GINA]