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By Latoya Giles“We have to amend our laws to see the appointment of new judges to the judiciary….it is patently obvious that the current legal complement of judges cannot deal with the case load that is currently pending in the judiciary”,Cheap Jerseys, says prominent lawyer Anil Nandlall.Nandlall, in an interview with this newspaper, sought to highlight certain mechanisms which could result in the backlog decreasing.He explained that the delay of case is one of the major problems facing the judiciary and as a result of that there is a tremendous backlog of cases which are in the system waiting to be heard.Attorney-at-law Anil NandlallNandlall said even though the problem exits in Guyana, it’s not unique only here, but also happens in other developed countries throughout the world. He said that in most of these jurisdictions and in Guyana the administration of justice has been forced to find innovative mechanisms and come up with new policy initiatives to tackle the situation.In Guyana, the lawyer said that the position is no different and in this regard the Alternative Dispute Resolution is one mechanism that was identified to tackle the problem.It was explained that with the ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ system, both parties now not only have the option to take voluntary mediation, but judges are now legally empowered to order mediation in appropriate cases. Nandlall stated that new legislation was already passed in Parliament. However, the administration is still in the process of setting up the infrastructure for the legislation to function.Another mechanism Nandlall highlighted was the ‘New Rules of Court’. This measure was designed to ensure that the civil litigation is conducted in an expedient manner,Cheap NFL Jerseys, thus the case, which is required to be tried by judge, is clearly defined and the witness statements are prepared and submitted long before the trial.The rules, Nandlall said, will in actuality help simplify the entire litigation process.  Another initiative the lawyer gave was the abolition of the Preliminary Inquiry in serious criminal offences.It was explained that in an agreement between the prosecution and the defence, the preliminary inquiry process, which usually takes years to be completed,cheap nfl jerseys china, can be dispersed with and the trial with a judge can begin at an earlier date.The legislation for this has been passed in Guyana. Another mechanism can also be plea bargaining.This is a relatively new piece of legislation,Cheap NFL Football Jerseys, which allows the prosecution and defense to agree to a penalty,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, thereby there would be no need for a trial in a criminal matter. Nandlall also stressed that with the appointment of lay magistrates to deal with minor offenses,Stitched Jerseys, trained magistrates can concentrate on more serious matters.Further, the lawyer told Kaieteur News that the court system must also be computer-ready.To this effect Nandlall said that there is already a plan to introduce into the court a computer-generated recording system to record in permanent form what is orally said in the courtroom.This new feature, Nandlall says, would remove the need for manual recording what transpires in the courtroom.He said that the task continues to be a work in progress and new and more innovative mechanisms will have to be realized for the “backlog” issue to be successfully overcome.Importantly, Nandlall stated that the establishment of specialized courts in Guyana to deal with certain types of cases is also another way which can see the backlog of cases decreasing.So far, Nandlall said the judiciary has set up a commercial court, a family court which is expected to be in full operation by this month end.A Constitutional and Administrative Law court was set up as of October 1, with the Honourable Chief Justice Ian Chang presiding. The court, according to Nandlall, would deal with Constitutional and Public law cases.The lawyer stressed that the right for justice is fundamental to a civilized society. He said that it is also equally important as the right to proper health care, education, so that a society can enjoy a better quality of life. “All of this and many more innovative mechanisms have to be implemented if we are going to tackle the backlog of cases” Nandalall posited.“There is always a casual connection between a country’s legal system and their economic prosperity” Nandlall stated.Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Carl Singh, had stated that although a plan has been identified to tackle the delay,  there is the need for the importance of an evaluation in addressing the issue.Courtroom management is a critical area to consider when addressing the backlog, the Chancellor said, adding that the lax approach by judges in granting adjournments as soon as they are requested has contributed to delays in a significant way.Singh had stated that judges need to recognize that they are responsible for what takes place in their courts, and that it is entirely within their control to resist frequent applications for adjournments.The Modernization of Justice Administration System Programme focuses on reducing the backlog of cases, strengthening the Judicial Service Commission; enhancing the skills and productivity of judges, High Court administration; rehabilitation and physical improvement of court rooms and improvement to civil and criminal law procedures among other areas.
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