Last Saturday, Attorney General, Anil Nandlall announced an initiative that he believes will result in remarkable improvements in the justice system as well as strengthen reliability and trust in the Guyana Police Force. He announced that police prosecutors will be holders of Bachelors of Law (LLB). But shadow Minister of Legal Affairs, Roysdale Forde does not believe that this is the answer to the problem Nandlall is seeking to solve. He thinks the answer lies in the development of a Criminal Prosecutions Service.
During his budget presentation today, Nandlall boasted the launch of a new programme at the University of Guyana to train LLB graduates, as well as Police, and to place them as Prosecutors in the Magistrate’s Courts right across Guyana.
The AG said that this singular initiative ought to transform the quality of legal representation that the victims of crimes and the State receive at the Magistrate’s Court, where all criminal cases begin. He said that Thus far, nearly 50 LLB graduates have signaled their interest to join this programme.
Forde addressed the National Assembly immediately after Nandlall. He expressed that he was not the least bit impressed with the initiative. In fact, Forde described the move as “yet another knee jerk reaction to a problem.”
He said that the real solution is to provide scholarships to the very Law Graduates to complete their Professional Qualifications, the Legal Education Certificate. He said too that the solution requires and lies in the development of Human Capital “which the Attorney General is obviously averse to.”
Forde said that the initiative is frightening because the skill to practice does not come after the LLB, but after Law School.
Forde said, “It is unfair to thrust untrained graduates into prosecutorial work, much as it was always unfair to thrust Policemen into prosecutorial work. What is needed Mr. Speaker, is a Criminal Prosecutions Service, under the direction and control of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The proposal by the Attorney General is yet another ill-thought out idea.”