Community ReportCrimeNews

New Multi-million $$ court allows easy access to justice, the disable; sports recording facilities

The Diamond/ Golden Grove Magistrates’ Court located in Diamond, East Bank Demerara next door to the Diamond Police Station was commissioned by President David Granger.

The facility which cost the state in excess of one hundred and forty three million dollars has some modern amenities including but not limited to an elevator, mechanisms to conduct hearings via Skype, facilities for Persons With a Disability and recording equipment to allow for recording of the court proceedings, effectively eliminating the magistrates, prosecutors and lawyers having to take notes, word for word. The court also has a domestic violence unit and a holding area for prisoners.

President Granger and Chancellor Cummings- Edwards examine a computer that has the the the capabilities to record the proceedings in the court.

In his address, President David Granger said the establishment of the court is another step of providing easy access to justice to everyone, everywhere in Guyana.

“Access to justice is a guiding principle of Guyana’s judiciary; the decentralization of magistracy confirms to the government’s policy of extending public services countrywide.” The President noted.

Mr. Granger gathering who represented the judiciary, law enforcement, stake holders and community leaders that the cross country communication and travelling can be challenging and as such, the establishment of the court is a welcomed initiative.

Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings- Edwards said the construction of the court was slated to commence in 2017 but a combination of issues with the contractor and weather conditions prevented this.

“The need for persons in the Diamond Grove and the surrounding communities on the East Bank Demerara to have access to justice must find expression in any justice system.” Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards told the gathering.

The Chancellor said the court was now ready to get to work and will be staffed by two magistrates who will occupy the two courtrooms. One of the magistrate began hearing matters at 13:00 hrs today, moments after the commissioning ceremony.

Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney General Basil Williams said the court represents a culmination of hard work by the judiciary and encouraged them to to ensure further access to justice in Region 4, especially by those residing on the East Bank Demerara.

“When people get access to justice, to the justice system, they are empowered as it is one of the prime mechanisms for persons to exercise their legal rights, these legal rights are enshrined in our constitution and are founded in out statues and articulated in various international instruments to which Guyana is a signature.” 

Minister Williams reminded that the importance and access to justice could never be overstated. President of the Guyana Bar Association Teni Housty highlighted that the constitution speaks to the secure, protection of the law in very many different facets including the right to a fair trail within a reasonable time in both civil and criminal matters.

“What we are celebrating here today is a realization of a meaningful access to justice, but access to justice does not stands alone, access to justice goes a long way, equality, non-discrimination and the technology and facilities”

Chief Justice Roxanne George who chaired the proceedings said the decision to embark on the Diamond/ Golden Grove Magistrates Court was in an effort to provide more access to justice in a more efficient way to the public.

It was former Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh who initiated the talks with government to secure the land to have the court built.

Following the commissioning, President David Granger and other dignitaries toured the facility