I write with reference to articles on the ‘Establishment of the Law Reform Commission’ published in yesterday’s edition of the Kaieteur News and the Guyana Chronicle at pages 1 and 49, and 12, respectively.
I reject out of hand the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall’s half-truths, innuendos and misleading account of the establishment of the Law Reform Commission and say the following:
The Law Reform Commission Act (Act No. 4 of 2016) was assented to by His Excellency President David Granger on January 25th, 2016.
A building was secured and rented somewhere around 2017. Furniture and other equipment were subsequently procured.
The administrative and support staff of the Commission were hired through a transparent interview process and commenced working on April 9th, 2018.
A vehicle was procured for the Commission in early 2019 as funds became available.
The three commissioners to fill the vacant posts in accordance with the Act were interviewed by a panel comprising Justice Claudette Singh SC, CCH; Justice Oslen Small and Professor Harold Lutchman in or around August 2018 through a transparent interview process before the passage of the No Confidence Motion.
An offer for appointment was made in June/July 2019 to prospective commissioners who were identified.
In light of the foregoing, it’s clear that the Government did all it could have done and could not go further and appoint the said commissioners because of its caretaker status.
The PPP/C was in a mode of non-cooperation with the government, boycotting Parliament and opposing any major appointments of important Commissions such as the Law Reform Commission whose remit would require all stakeholders to be aboard and our government abided by the outcome of the General and Regional Elections rather than constituting the Commission.
It’s imperative to mention, that at all material times the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been involved in the establishing of the Commission and its secretariat.
Basil Williams SC
Former Attorney General and
Minister of Legal Affairs.