The Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) will soon be re-equipped both with equipment, and the highest trained forensic personnel in the country, to enhance the capabilities of the judiciary in their efforts to fight crime.
This disclosure was made by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, during a recent event.
The attorney general said crime is a serious issue that must be recognised against the backdrop of the major-scale development taking place in Guyana.
He assured that the PPP/C Government is unfolding a number of initiatives and investing in resources to tackle the pressing issue.
“[Crime] will not disappear momentarily, but we are putting in place institutes to ensure that the issue is tackled fundamentally, forensically, and scientifically.
“So, we are going to re-equip our forensic lab both with equipment, and the highest qualified forensic personnel. Every day we are working with the police force in ensuring that their investigative capabilities are improved,” he stated.
Recently, some 29 prosecutors of the Guyana Police Force participated in a six-month international training course.
Another revolutionary programme to train 71 persons with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Guyana (UG), who did not further their legal education at any of the law schools across the Caribbean was also recently conducted.
The programme, dubbed ‘Certificate in Advocacy and Evidence for Summary Courts Prosecutors’, saw the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Attorney General’s Chambers partnering with UG to ensure its successful execution.
Participants of the programme were trained in Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law and Evidence Finding, and will operate as part of the prosecutorial arm of the state under the constitutional supervision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Thirty-five of the participants could be awarded a scholarship to attend the Hugh Wooding Law School or any regional law school, based on their performance during the training.
The course was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Support for Criminal Justice System (SCJS) programme to the tune of some US$8 million, with the aim of having trained prosecutors placed at every magistrate’s court.
“We have inducted them into the police force, and they are going through a training process because they are members of the force. That is the only way, without legal qualifications, and without any change of the law, that they can appear and have a right of audience before the court without the requisite legal qualifications,” AG Nandlall stated.
He asserted that the prosecutors will play an important role in revamping Guyana’s justice system, and provide citizens with better legal representation.
“We are putting these measures in place to ensure that your interest, the victims of crime, the state’s interest, both at the investigative level as well as at the level of the criminal justice system is protected, because your interest is important.”
The Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory was commissioned in July 2014 by then Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, and former Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee at its location in Turkeyen, behind the UG campus.
The re-equipment of the lab will play a tremendous role in bolstering Guyana’s judicial sector. (Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information)