The Parliament of Guyana today heard from Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall that there will be moves in 2023 to abolish the Preliminary Inquiries into criminal matters.
According to the Legal Affairs Minister, removing the first tier of the criminal trial process is not something that will be unique to Guyana as it has been implemented in other parts of the Caribbean and beyond the commonwealth.
“We will draft a bill to abolish preliminary Inquires in criminal proceedings in Guyana,” Minister Nandlall told the National Assembly.
He further stated…
“Every day or so often, we read in the newspapers, the complaints about the delay in the criminal justice system and the length of time that accused persons are languishing in Prison, well part of the reason is because currently, the law requires a preliminary inquiry to be done to establish a prima facia case before going to a judge and jury” the house was reminded.
The Attorney General explained that with the bill seeking to abolish the process, the case backlogs will be reduced significantly.
“You now review the statements, and a magistrate can determine whether to commit or not, we are moving in that direction, removing that tier out of the criminal trial process and accelerating the trial, which will result in the illumination of tremendous backlog,” Nandlall said in conclusion on that matter.
Many people have, for years, sat in jail as they await their preliminary hearings only to walk free at the end of the process because of a lack of sufficient evidence for their matter to be tried in a High Court.