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The Department of Law of the University of Guyana (UG) is currently taking applications from persons interested in enrolling in the second cohort of the Certificate in Advocacy and Evidence for Summary Courts and Prosecutor’s Course (the Course), officially launched in 2022. Classes are slated to commence later this month.
In 2022, seventy-one (71) persons applied to take the Course. Of the persons who have graduated, thirty (30) persons are currently functioning in the magistrates’ courts of Regions 3, 4, 5 6 and 10.
Thirty five (35) scholarships will be made available for persons willing to become Summary Court Prosecutors for the State.
However, priority will be given to persons from Regions 1, 2, 7, 8, and other Regions with a lower number of prosecutors, since the Attorney General’s Chambers is looking to bolster the number of Summary Court prosecutors in each of Guyana’s ten (10) Administrative Regions.
The Course is the product of a collaborative effort between The Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs, UG, SCJSP, and the Inter-American Development Bank, which funded the Course’s development, and is providing additional funding this year.
The Course is only open to persons who already hold a Bachelors of Laws (LL.B), and or third-year LL.B students, has been developed, and structured to equip students with in-depth knowledge of procedural and substantive law concerning ethics, the law of evidence, criminal practice and procedure, fundamental human rights, and aspects of constitutional and legislative interpretation.
Last year’s cohorts were taught by persons such as Honourable Madame Justice Roxane George SC, Chief Justice of the Judiciary of Guyana, Honourable Madame Justice Jo Ann Barlow, Honouarable Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall, Madame Shalimar Ali-Hack SC, Director of Public Prosecutions, Professor Kenneth Benjamin, former Chief Justice of Belize, Professor Courtney Abel, former Justice of the High Court of Belize, Mr. Darshan Ramdhani KC, and Magistrate Dillon Bess.
To allow them to prosecute matters in Guyana’s Magistrates Courts, the graduates of the Course were inducted into the Guyana Police Force (GPF), and given the rank of Sergeant. They then underwent an additional week of training which was aimed at acquainting them with the rules, regulations and standing orders of the GPF. Importantly, though the students were made police officers to execute their prosecutorial duties, they are not required to carry out any other duties usually required of police officers.
Permission has been obtained for the Summary Courts Prosecutors to dress in civilian garb, as opposed to police uniforms.
These Summary Court prosecutors will take home approximately GUY$160,000. Their gross salaries, inclusive of allowances will amount to approximately GUY$220,000
The AG’s chambers said the ongoing initiative is a pilot project, and the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall SC, has also expressed his intention to continue to monitor the project to address any and all teething issues which arise. Toward this end, the Attorney General, along with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack SC, Commissioner of Police (ag) Clifton Hicken, and Assistant Commissioner Calvin Brutus, met with the prosecutors on 12th January 2023 to listen to, and address any issues they are having.