PSC wants “minor amendments” to Coroners and Law Reform Bills

Last Updated on Tuesday, 5 January 2016, 11:51 by Denis Chabrol

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) says that after a consultation meeting with the Attorney General over Coroners Amendment Bill and the Law Reform Commission Bill, it has recommended some minor amendments.

In a release to the media on Tuesday, the PSC noted that the discussion centered primarily on the provisions for appointment of Commissioners and agreement was reached with the Attorney General on how these persons would be appointed.

“The Private Sector Commission, being wholly cognisant of the many obsolete laws which remain in the Laws of Guyana and the need for careful culling of contradictory laws, fully supports, with minor amendments, the Law Reform Commission Bill.  With respect to the Coroners (Amendment) Bill, it was noted that the substantive Coroners Act needs to be fully reviewed.”

The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has already stated that it wants wide-ranging consultations on amendments to the Coroners Act, beyond merely allowing for more persons other than magistrates to conduct inquests.

In a letter to Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, the PPP’s Anil Nandlall urged that there be  “holistic review” of the principal act in keeping with a recommendation by the Disciplined Forces Commission.

The PPP wants the amendment that merely allows for the Judicial Services Commission to appoint “fit and proper” persons in addition to magistrates to be coroners for the whole of Guyana.

“Signficantly, the subject of the Principal Act is a very complex, specialized and technical area of procedural as well as substantive law. Additionally, it touches and concerns the controversial issue of unnatural deaths,” said Nandlall.