Georgetown- May 12th, 2021 – On May 12th, 2021, the Canadian Government funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project hosted day one of its two-day (May 12th & 13th) virtual workshop entitled, “Sound Policy for Better Law”. This workshop aims to enhance the ability of public officers to provide adequate drafting instructions to legislative drafters to make the process efficient and ensure that policy directions are carefully translated into law.
His Excellency Mark Berman, High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of Guyana and Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname, opened the event and gave remarks on behalf of the Government of Canada. In his remarks, High Commissioner Berman noted that the theme of the workshop, “Sound Policy for Better Law,” aligned strongly with Canada’s emphasis on building strong and inclusive organisations and partners. He noted specifically that the workshop aimed to touch all aspects of the law, including the actors within the legislative process, the role of various public sector departments who research and design policy, the role of both policy maker and drafter and the development and enactment of legislation. He also noted that one of the segments of the workshop will focus on two issues that are close to Canada’s heart, those being gender equality and environmental awareness. High Commissioner Berman noted how pleased he was that the Government of Guyana was facilitating the attendance of its senior public officers, noting that their attendance was a testament to the importance given by the Government to capacity building in the area of policymaking and legislative drafting.
The Hon. Mohabir A. Nandlall, SC, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs of Guyana also delivered remarks during the opening session. In his remarks, the Honourable Attorney General thanked the IMPACT Justice Project and the Government of Canada for the remarkable support they have rendered to Guyana over the years. He noted that Guyana continues to be a beneficiary of their generosity and has seen the benefits redound to the justice sector of Guyana and by extension to its people. He also thanked the IMPACT Justice Project for the Sound Policy for Better Law Workshop, which he mentioned was very timely and spoke to matters of fundamental importance to good governance, and law and order in any country.
Professor Velma Newton, CBE, SCM, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice Project chaired the opening ceremony and introduced the co-facilitators of the workshop, Mr. Ian Macintyre, SC, Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Trinidad and Tobago and Mr. Albert Edwards, CD, former Deputy Solicitor General (Drafting) of Belize and former Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Jamaica. Also present for the proceedings was Ms. Michele Gibson, IMPACT Justice Project Team Leader from the Caribbean Regional Development Programme, Global Affairs Canada.
This workshop is the fifth such session sponsored by the IMPACT Justice Project for CARICOM Member States. The first four were hosted in Belize in April, 2018; St. Lucia in July, 2019 and more recently sessions have been facilitated via Zoom for Barbados in October 2020 and jointly for Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in November 2020. Within the coming months IMPACT Justice plans to roll out a number of new initiatives in Guyana in partnership with the Ministry of Legal Affairs and other agencies.