Guyana’s ongoing law revision exercise is slated to be completed within the first quarter of this year, says Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall.
According to the government’s chief legal advisor, the exercise seeks to merge components of laws that have become fragmented over time. The last exercise was conducted in 2012, some 35 years after the 1977 revision.
“Law revision is essentially where you update the laws of your country, and you do that by inserting the various amendments that were made over a period into the principal laws that were amended. So, if you amend the Representation of the People Act (ROPA), then the amendments will be inserted where they are going to be in the Principal Act. So, they merge into one. If you have new laws, you also bring them together and consolidate them all. So, you have volumes of laws starting from Chapter One to wherever it ends,” the AG explained.
He added that this revision will allow the laws to be placed into an orderly fashion, thereby allowing easier access for citizens.
“How else will citizens know the law? They must be able to find it and have access to it. It must also be in an orderly fashion so that the ordinary man can pick up the law and read it and don’t have to go look here and there for an amendment,” the AG said.
The current exercise will consolidate changes made up to December 31, 2022. Works began in 2020 by the ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) after winning the General and Regional Elections.
“We have most of the work already completed, with the year 2022 pending. After that, we go to print, so we have hard and soft copies. This is a mammoth undertaking and will cost a lot of money, but fortunately, we got funding from various sources and we will be able to accomplish this task with the least possible cost to taxpayers,” the AG noted.
This consolidation and revision exercise is a collaborative effort between the Law Revision Commission, a unit within the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Legal Affairs, and the Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project. Guyana Standard understands that the project is being executed by the Regional Revision Centre Inc., an Anguillan company.